Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,582 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,582
Ratings:
5,636
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
296
Gots:
1,316
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,582 | Ratings: 5,636
Photo of barczar
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%

Probably the dankest, skunkiest aroma I've encountered in a beer, along with sharp notes of grapefruit. Flavor reveals a sweet caramel malt backbone contrasted by more sharp grapefruit. The finish is resiny, earthy, and lightly bitter.

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

12oz bottle. Unclear bottling date. Poured into a snifter 12/1/2014.

A- Clear but dark caramel-brown body, one finger white head with ridiculous retention. There is still a thick collar and film on the beer after I stepped out for 20 minutes! Nice lacing as well. [4.25]

S- Rich caramel aromas, strong fruity grapefruit and citrus. A bit of pine resin as well. This is a very, very strong double IPA that is balanced and quite juicy. [4]

F- Caramel is now accompanied by toffee for a bit more complexity than in the nose. The hops shine through as they do in the nose. Citrus, grapefruit, pine. You could convince me there is also a floral aspect as well, though it wouldn't be as strong as the other components. Rich, sweet and hop-forward. Very nice balance. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation that's in the right spot. A sipper due to the overall sweetness and the mild heat. A nice one for a cold night like tonight. [4]

O- Very nice "strong" ale; as typical of Lagunitas there is no real style category you can put this beer in. It's a mix of an American Double IPA with a rich barleywine; there isn't nearly as much maltiness in this beer as in a barleywine, but it is overhopped in a way only American Double IPAs can claim. Very tasty, flavourful and inexpensive brew. [4]

Final score: 4.13

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Photo of tigg924
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, caramel brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: caramel malt and citrus hops

Taste: toasted malt, dash of caramel, citrus hops, and brown sugar that starts in the middle and lasts through the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, nice mix of sweet and bitter. The sweet taste shows itself more as the beer warms.

Drinkability: A solid beer that is one per sitting for the high abv. As stated above the sweetness really comes out as the beer warms. I will look for this again.

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Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of malt, hops, and above all else, brown sugar.

T: Tasted of malt, hops, and caramel, with some brown sugar present, though not as much as I would have expected. A well rounded flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this a month ago. Review from notes.

A - Pours a nice dark brown in color with fluffy white head.

S - Mostly of brown sugar, caramel, and loads of hops.

T - Hops kind of overpower the palate but finishes with a candy sweetness from the brown sugar. Great.

M - Really strong flavors and ABV. Full Bodied.

D - Man I think I still have a few places around and can get them usually for around 2-3 dollars a bottle. I will see this again next year.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF XMas from wezil. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" tan head over the cloudy dark amber brew. Head fades to an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quickly, but exhibits average lacing. Aroma is whoa, all about sweetness and powerful alcohol. Taste actually throws me for a loop, showing sweet malts as expected, but then fruitiness, and nary a taste of the distracting ethanol-laden nose. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice for the style. For a slow start this one came on as the experience went on. Worth a try, almost too drinkable...

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Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear coppery chestnut color, creamy off-white head, good retention and lacing. Smell is sweet carmel, brown sugar, lightly roasted nuts with a touch of dark fruit and yeast on the nose. Bold sweet carmel and brown sugar flavors with a more pronounced and bitter hop presence then the smell let on. Touches of fruit and yeast on the finish. Full bodied, heavy on the tounge, like melted carmel itself, fairly pronounced sweet and bitter aftertastes. Good beer, stops short of being cloying, but would be hard to have more than one.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into my Fat Tire pint

Pours a crystal clear, mahogany color with tiny bubbles. A nice light tan head rose to about a finger and a half and then subsided in time. Little to no lacing.

You can smell the brown sugar as soon as you open the bottle and start the pour. But as soon as I dropped in for a better whiff, my nose fills with pine needles and a citric hoppiness that is a pleasant surprise. Don't get me wrong, the smell of brown sugar and caramel malts fill out the backside of the nose.

It really does have an interesting balance going on, er, lack of balance. But it's really not a bad thing, it works for them. You get slight flavors of hops right off the bat that leads way to a more dominant alcohol warming and a sugar/caramel finish. The warmth lingers with a slight tinge of sweetness. Pretty much same as the nose, but comes at you from different directions.

Medium bodied. Really sticks to the tongue and mouth. Kinda spicy.

It's good, but doesn't do anything great.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- A light mix of honey and an IPA like amber. Like Wonderbread crust color. No carbonation visible. Not an impressive head, but a lingering skim of foam, and some decent lacing to boot.

Smell- A little bland or muted. But some definite sugary sweet malts of a darker character are picked up though.

Taste- This is a great balance of bland malts sweetness, brown sugar sweetness, and hop bitterness.Starts with a caramel malt sweetness blended with light hops leading to the middle and finish of solid brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Easy palate and very well incorporated alcohol.

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Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear burgandy. Thick, dense off-white head. The froth coats the glass heavily as I drink. Aroma is sweet. Very sweet. Caramel sweet. And there's a whiff of alcohol as well. And some tropical fruits. Rummy alcohol notes are noticed up front on the palate. And the alcoholic bitterness lingers long after the sip. The flavor is pretty sweet, but not quite to the cloying extent. Sweet and alcoholic sum up this beer quite well. And there's some estery goodness in the mix as well. Passion fruit tones and such. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Decent enough, but not really noteworthy.

Here's a shout out to the LBB for the sample. Thanks bud.

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Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown body with a small, creamy off-white cap that has decent retention. An impressive coat of thick lace is left by what I thought was a dinky cap.

S- Dark fruit with a nice caramel and toasted nutty malt profile. Just a bit of brown sugar below a deep caramel, almost like an old ale.

T- Big, deep caramel of a Barleywine hits me up front with a strong citrus, pine and floral hop profile. A bit of dark fruit as well as, brown sugar. Sweeter than what I am used to, although the name might suggest that.

MF- Creamy body with nice carbonation to suit the flavors at hand. Hops bring a good amount of bitterness with them.

DB- I remember having this before and being a bit confused. I have come to understand what is going here somewhat but it still feels strange. The multiple style mixture feels somewhat abrasive but I cannot stop taking huge gulps of this. A not so common combination of flavors but a must try for craft beer fans. Brown + Barleywine + IPA + brewing skill = this beer...?

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Photo of Jwale73
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Pours a beautiful burnt red/copper with a loose half inch, tan-colored head that reduces its volume by half in less than a minute before eventually settling into a swirl and a band. Clarity is translucent. Nose is a little difficult to decipher - sweet malt, a slight vinegary quality and maybe a trace of soy sauce. Taste follows nose - definitely getting that salty, soy sauce flavor following the malty/brown sugar start. There's also a light hops presence that helps balance out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a slightly oily quality and an easy, even carbonation. Not sure how I feel about this one. It's not bad, and I would certainly try it again, but it's not what I would consider exemplary.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rusty amber with loose creme-colored froth.
Deep honey, resin and a whiff of booze on the nose.
Honey pear spice cake malts wit gooey orange resin hops.
Lemon icing finish and spiced orange linger.
Medium, chewy, slightly hot, silky.

A bit of a surprise - less bitter and sweeter than a barleywine, with hits of pure sugar at points. Drinks more like 8% than 10, making it smooth and deadly.

A winter sipper, but not one for the hardcore hophead, nor does it have Lagunitas' compulsive quaffability.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.26.12.

A - Pours a clear orange-brown with a one inch light tan, foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy pine mostly and some sweetness.

T - Hoppy pine, then some sweet candy, carmel malts and brown sugar.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, a very sweet finish.

O - Hoppy up front with a sweet brown sugar finish.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a pleasant beer. And talk about unique. . . if BA had a originality category, this would get a 5.

Pours out a reddish brown color. Beige head, about 5/8". Good lace. Aroma is sweet, like brown shugga!

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. You get a hop blast somehow, which I didn't expect in a beer with so much "brown shugga" in it. But it isn't over the top sweet that is a turn off. Had some bitterness to pair with it.

Easily Lagunitas's most original work. A great brewery, a real good beer.

Its not as good as Hop Stoopid or their Pale, but its in good company with all their others. . .

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Photo of Bung
3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hardy copper/amber pour with a nearly non-existant white head. Non-descript hops with slight malt and brown sugar aroma. Flavor dominated by hops, not overly bitter, just overly present. Not sure how anyone could get sweet out of this. I want to sit and disect this but it's just an IPA with some brown sugar. Clean finish sure, drinkability good especially for the abv. Probably great if you're a straight hop head. The base of the beer tastes like EVERY SINGLE other beer I've had from Lagunitas. Malt and roast are just too words they don't like to incorporate. It's like they just keep taking their IPA and adding different small items and calling it a different named Strong Ale. Everybody is always so high on this brewer and I guess I just don't get it. West Coast bitter beer, the thought being this is crisp and clean and organic in some instances. Rambled enough. I was unimpressed with this and will age 1 but look to donate the other 4 I have. Even their capuccino stout was just a heavy brown. Ok, now I'm done.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangey-brown color with a huge off-white head that leaves all kinds of thick lacing down the glass. Boozy aroma with caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Mouth-feel is sticky-sweet and thick, coats the palate well. Tastes are caramel, brown sugar, with hints of fruits such as plums, vanilla and toffee. As it warms, the true flavors come out. More of an earthy hop bite adds to the sweet finish and really aids the balance nicely. Overall, this is a unique ale that I enjoyed. This is recommendable and I usually buy at least one bottle every fall upon release.

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Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah truly gets a sweet release with this here fine, fine product. Yessir. Ah surely does. Poured only a small sample so didn't get much of a head. But, what's there lasts. No lace. Lovely deep red tinged amber color. Dark ripe fruit, malts, caramels, brandies in flavors. Booze in the mouth with good carbonation. Very good mouth. Quite rich. Maybe a bit heavy for a session beer. Nice finish.

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Photo of champ103
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color. A two finger white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Tons of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, yeast, some spice as well. Plenty of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with lots of sweet malt. Dark fruits of raisins and plums. A big, kind of Belgian yeast flavor as well. Lots of alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Syrupy and sticky. Lots of alcohol makes this hard to finish.

Not bad, but the alcohol really shows here. Other than that, just some sweetness, and not a lot of depth. Another overly alcoholic beer with no nuance. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are not surprisingly barley wine oriented with some, no surprise, brown sugar, molasses, vinous apple, dark caramels. Once you get past the sweetness you get the hop end with citrus and lemon and a little earthiness.

The taste is extremely well balanced with waves of dark caramel malts and brown sugar with dark vinous fruit notes again. The aroma and taste complement each other very well. The hop bitterness helps to balance out the sweet nature of the brew preventing it from being cloying.

The mouthfeel if full and thick, deserves to be sipped and savored. Balanced carbonation also helps to keep the higher ABV and sweetness in check. Overall a great full flavored unique offering from the brewery I usually pass on because of their aggressive Pacific hop tendencies but this is perfectly balanced and delicious.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a clear amber color with some hints of ruby red seen shining through. Upon pouring there is a nice one finger of a thick, off white head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, hanging on for quite some time, but eventually fading to leave a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very sweet with lots of brown sugar and caramel and some big fruit aromas as well. The fruit smells are a mix of light fruit as well as a bit of some darker fruit aromas. The lighter aromas are biggest of a tropical smells with some apple and apricot mixing in, while the darker fruit aromas are mainly a mix of cherry and plum. A hint of a biscuit smell rounds out the aroma, producing an overall sugary and fruity nose to the beer.

Taste – The taste is rather surprising in light of the nose, as it contains a much maltier, slightly less sweet, and more hopped flavor the smells let on. The taste begins with a rather big malty flavor of a bready and doughty nature. There is a good level of sweetness right from the start as well with lots of tropical fruit flavors of tangerine, mango, and papaya as well as tons of caramel flavors. As the taste advances, the tropical fruit flavors lose some potency, being replaced by flavors of brown sugar and a bit of a cherry flavor. As the taste moved on from the middle, some grapefruit and grassy hop tastes come to the tongue. These flavors grow slightly more intense to the end of the taste, where the mix of flavors ends up leaving a moderately hopped, rather fruity and sugary, thick malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly lower carbonation may have been a little better for the big malt and sweeter flavors of the brew, but the thicker feel is very nice for highlighting the hop flavors mixed with the big malty and sweet flavors, really producing a rather nicely blended flavor.

Overall – A good malty and sweet brew with a decent level of hop and a great drinkability even at 9.9 % abv. A rather nice, and easy drinking big brew.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Amber color with a very small head. Aroma is mostly caramel, with a little bit of citrus. Taste was caramel/brown sugar, with a strong malt presence, and some grapefruit hoppiness. A fairly robust beer, kind of chewy. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will look for it again.

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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 glid02
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly fades into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells much hoppier than I'd anticipated. Lots of citrus aromas joined by a mild spicy sweetness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Again, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of hops here but that's what I got. Large hits of grapefruit joined by sweet caramel malts and a small spice kick at the end. The flavor profile took some getting used to, but I liked it more near the end of the beer than I did in the beginning. I would never have guessed this was almost 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good wet feel with good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting mash-up of styles that's easy to drink once you get used to it.

Overall this is a very interesting beer that's certainly worth a shot.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,636 ratings.
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