Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,576 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:
1,576
Ratings:
5,613
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
299
Gots:
1,306
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 5,613
Photo of Riccymon
2.71/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured amber/brown from the bottle with about a finger of off-white head. Aroma was mostly hoppy, similar to a pale ale or IPA, and the taste came off the same way. I didn't notice a lot of balance to the beer--citrus, almost pineapple-like hoppiness accompanied by some sugar sweetness. I almost felt like I was drinking a boozey (the ABV was up-front) pineapple upsidedown cake. Mouthfeel may have been the high point, as Brown Shugga' drank like a nice, full brew. With the ABV as high and noticeable, however, I wouldn't want to drink many of these.

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Photo of techfed87
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a good sized head, quick to settle down. Color is dark brown, clear. Smell is pretty sweet, kind of reminds me of a beer I had once...Raison D'Extra! That had that same kind of caked sugary quality to it. And from the bottles, I'd guess both use quite a bit of brown sugar in them.

First sip is a bit less carbonated than what I was expecting it to be. Big malt presence, quite sweet, and a great hop balance to keep this from diving too far into the sugar wagon. Mouthfeel is also pretty rewarding.

All in all, a pretty good beer!

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.4/5  rDev +10%

Fall 2013 batch, drank 9.01.14, poured from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz Stange.

It had been a few years since I last had this beer, and upon coming across it at Good Beer NYC I immediately snatched up whatever I could. Here we go...

A: Pours a clear, glowing red caramel (reminiscent of barleywine coloring), two fingers of light khaki head, excellent head retention, sticky lacing, eventually fades to a moderate cap.

S: Molasses, bitter dark fruits, toasted malt, touch of hop oil, and with all of that sugar I just can't help but smelling some maple syrup too.

T: I swear this beer is a second cousin to a barleywine somewhere... upon first sip I get tastebud deja vu to past nights of drinking big barleys along the Atlantic coast. Anyways... Molasses with a hint of vanilla, caramel, bitter fruit, and fall spicing, most notably clove. Phenomenal taste profile, better than I ever remember it.

M: Smooth, alcohol is completely obscured, light carbonation, thick... leaves a coating well after swallowing, taste lingers well afterwards without any flavor deviation.

O: Absolutely terrific. Big Flavor, super smooth, great mouthfeel, huge ABV. I hate myself for not picking up more than I did.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Generous head over a clear amber body. Lotsa lacing.

More hops than expected. They are the dominant flavor in fact. Malt is not biscuity but rather sweet. Generally sweetness with hop bitterness as an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

For some reason I've never tried this one. Poured into a snifter. Nice head. Great dark amber color. Smells of sweet candy, grapefruit, and some dank hops as well. Flavor up front is fairly sweet with candy type flavors and then the fruity hops hit on the back end and balance this brew out nicely. Great flavor for a winter DIPA. Can't detect the near 10% ABV. This will definitely get a repeat visit to my fridge this winter.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle purchased at Green's in Atlanta into a pint glass.

A. Rod copper amber with a wispy white head that leaves generous wispy lacing. Good bubbles.

S. A sweet brown sugar smell, almost cloying, but altogethr pleasing. I can sense the malt, it is not overwhelmed but there is still a healthy hoppiness.

T. Oh god! This beer works. The brown sugar compliments the over hop/malt perfectly. I didn't think they could pull it off but they did,

M. A very creamy finish, but sweet to the point where the anv is well hidden. This does not taste like 9.9%!!

D. This is a timebomb!! It drinks like a session beer, but after 2 or 3 of these (and I mean the 12 ouncer's, not a bomber!!) you are hammered! This is a beer that should not be so easy to drink.

Summary: buy a 6 pack of this, hide the keys and enjoy!!

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Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden orange-ish color that pours a nice white head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass
S-caramel malt, some booze, barely any hops
T-kinda belgian caramel, sweet aftertaste, then booze
M-Nicely carbonated, smoothly flavorful, kinda sweet and then you taste the booze
O-Kinda like Double Bag on steroids, not my favorite Lagunitas, but for a 6 pack it's not a bad deal

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Lagunitas beer. I got this one as an extra in a trade with srandycarter - THANKS!

I have wanted to try this one for some time now. Any pure cane sugar beer has to be good - right? I poured this one into a Duvel glass at around 45 degrees. I let it warm as I drink this beer to get a feel for the range. I was a little surprised at the clarity. I figured there would be little head retention and I was right - minimal lacing.

Aroma is of brown sugar, maple syrup, and wild honey - yummm. I was a little surprised (after the first taste) not to smell the hops. The hop taste is quite spicy.

The first taste was smooth and light and got heavier as the session wound on. You get that rich fullness like you're drinking something sugary without the big sugar flavor/rush/high feeling (hard to explain). This beer is quite sweet but it is balanced by the hop flavors. This one might even be better with about 6 months on it so the hops can cool off and the honey/sugar can come to the forefront - I know they are there.

Mouthfeel is really light at cold temperatures and increases viscosity exponentially as the beer warms. Right now at 52 degrees or so this beer is like syrup in the mouth (in a good way).

I would say this beer is extremely drinkable. There is no flavor that exceeds the average craft beer drinking palate. I would say that if you like a strong hop flavor you should drink this fresh, but if you would rather have the malty sweet flavors drink this with 6 months to a year on it. If I had 2 I'd age one for a year.

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Photo of MrPlayboy
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very interesting beer. It is like an IPA but has that biting bitter hop finish and cloying sweetness of a barleywine. Almost a washed cheese rind flavor like trappist cheese. I can't tell if I really like it or not. Which may be why this beer has captured my attention. Its like stinky cheese; you don't particularly like it but keep coming back because of how different it is. I will be aging some bottles to see what happens. Good stuff but then again I'm not sure.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours a very clear amber with minimal head and no lacing, though the beer is so syrupy it sticks to the sides of the glass. Has a barleywine style smell, with dark fruits like raisins, to begin with. This aroma is chased by loads of brown sugar notes. Tasting the beer for the first time you immediately notice the thick mouthfeel, though it's not unpleasant. Brown Shugga is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Alcohol is cleverly hidden, save for a little bit of a burn down in your chest after you drink it. The taste has a lot of different things going on. There are some minor fruit notes, but for me this is a lot like waffles and maple syrup. Mild citrus hops help lend balance to the beer. Oddly enough, even with all of the sugary notes this finishes quite dry, which leaves you wanting more. Despite the heavy body, it's really easy drinking. Call it the perfect fall beer.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown ale with a slight tan head that has good staying power.

Smell: Light sweetness with some citrusy hops. Not much from the nose here.

Taste: Once you get acclimated to the too powerful citrus hops, this beer has a nice sweet flavor. This beer, like all the Lagunitas brews I have tried, relies too much on the hops. The sweet nutty flavor and the added brown sugar sweetness would be better served up front more. Decent flavor, but not what I had hoped for.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness and good smoothness. Also, a nice warmth as you go. The hops linger a bit too long in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Easy to drink if you are looking for hops. Decent enough beer and hides its ABV well.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - a golden amber with a two-finger off-white head and spotty lacing.
Smell - citrusy hops, brown sugar, and caramel malts all mix together very well.
Taste - this beer is very unique, it follows the nose but this combination of flavors is so bizarre, but in a good way.
Feel - great carbonation, full and slightly chewy body, and smooth finish.
Overall, I can't make sense of this beer but the complexity draws me in. I want to age some bottles to see how it develops.

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Photo of Schmaltzy
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Chimay glassware.

A - deep copper color that is slightly cloudy with very little 1/2 finger head that dissapated quickly leaving only small amounts of lace

S - Caramel/Brown Sugar with some Grand Mariner/Orange Liquer flavors coming through with a faint hops component.

T - Caramel and loads of it, nice bitterness to the hops on the mid/back palate, finishes with the grand mariner flavor on the back end.

M - Medium body, sufficient/light carbonation, alcohol is definately there and a dry finish.

D - This beer sounds all to good but is just way too sweet for my palate. Definately a big beer, but very sweet and the hops are super bitter making for a very dry piney finish. Too Sweet and Too Bitter, if that makes sense

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light amber to brown color. Big foamy head, off white with yellow highlights.

Roasted malt, a lot of hop aroma. Reminds me of SN Bigfoot a lot in the aroma.

Bitter pine hopping, slightly mouth coating slickness. A lot of residual sweetness. I don't really taste the brown sugar component, although I do pick it up in the aroma. Almost tastes spiced with cinnamon. Light cherry flavor too I believe.

Mouthfeel is pretty great. Full bodied, full flavored, slick and oily. Carbonation is great. Super job here.

A real tasty beverage. I have been less than impressed with Lagunitas previous to this beer. But this one gives me some respect for them, and makes me want more of their beer, and that certainly includes this example. A keeper.

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Photo of ReDave
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer, not what i expected. Big, nice hoppy residual taste, sweet up front, but nice bitter after-taste. Not really barley wine [to me at least], but not really anything else. Not for the faint at heart, or for those unwilling to try something different.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into a tulip glass. Heavy lacing with 2-finger head. Pours a dark amber brown. Beer was served around 50'.

Quite malty on the nose and of course, the brown sugar. Can make out some hops but not too much.

The malt sits heavy on the palate and is pretty sweet. Some hops step out which keeps a nice balance along with some sweet caramel & brown sugar. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel which in the usual Lagunitas fashion leaves some bitterness and a slight burn down the back of the throat.

The high alcohol presence is hidden well only really noticable when going down the throat. Snow is on the ground here in Central Ohio and this beer compliments it well, keeps you warm with a nice flavor. Another winner from the brewers in Petaluma.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown on the color. Small head retention, light hazy tan with minor lacing on the glass. The carbonation was good and gave the brew vibrance. I may have poured the beer to slow and would explain the small head. Sweet apples on the nose. The mouthfeel was full body with the carmel producing a sliky quality and a little spicy from the brown sugar that tingles on the tongue.
When this beer reaches warmer temp. is has a good bourbon flavor.
mixed with a splash of brown sugar. All the desciptions sound like this beer would be very sweet but the 55.1 ibu (hops) keep this in check. The big magic trick is how well the 9.9 abv. doesn't overwelm this well balanced Strong Ale.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got word that I was being released at three bars in my area on the same night, some sort of "release party..." Got there right around 8:30, and the bartender said I was the first one to try it. So the ice cold beer went into the shaker...

A - Amber body, decent head, pretty standard.

T - Fruity citrus hops stuck out, with some barleywine-like alcohol notes. Again, not very exciting...

T - Entry seemed to focus on the sweet alcohol. Cherry and orange flavors seemed off in the dry finish.

M - Very full and smooth mouthfeel. First thing about this beer I liked...

D - I don't know what it is about this beer, but it has never seemed to impress me. I love Lagunitas, and I want to like this beer, but no... Also, I get a little tired of bartenders asking me if there is something wrong with my beer when I am just waiting for it to warm up to something other than 38 F....

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Photo of mpedara429
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy and dark amber color. Two plus fingers of off white head. Sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: Sweet smell of toffee malt, raisins, and plums.

T: Nutty and earthy flavors backed by the sweetness described in the smell. Nice hop bite.

M: Medium body that is a bit creamy with medium carbonation.

O: A cool beer. It is labeled as a strong ale, but it kicks a bit like an IPA with it's fair share of hop bite and earthy flavor. I'm really digging the complexity of this one.

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Photo of mjryan
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber coloured, with a simple white head. Good retention and some lace. Aroma is very sweet and fruity. Flavour is very sweet, with a large hop presence. Bitterness tries to balance the sweetness, but loses in the end. Has a very full body with a moderate carbonation level. This is an intensely sweet beer, which is no supprise considering its called brown sugga and says something about sweet release on the label. The large hop presence was unexpected and really this beers saving grace for me. The hops, although muted by the huge amount of residual sugar in this beer, added another layer, that kept things from getting boring or nausiating. One is good in a night. Would make a great dessert beer.

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Photo of currysage1
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky burnt red, lots of yeast in suspension. light head that goes down to a skim and a ring.

Smell is of smoky carmel, dark sweet and complex, black pepper, alcohol twinge, vanilla extract, candied citrus peel.

Taste is brandy with carmel, almost a too burnt creme brulee, good hop bite that mixes well with the alcohol presence. Burnt/charred sugar are evident, dark grape, again with the black pepper.

Feel is heavy but not slick, very enjoyable before bed but could not have many more, this is a have one and move on type. Not to say I won't buy again.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with 1" of foam and solid lacing. Smells of syrup, malt, and vanilla. Taste is good, has a nice burnt sugary feel with a vanilla mix but very light on vanilla. Also some pine in there with a grapefruit dryness. Overall its a good beer and in your face on flavor, you know your drinking this one. I have to try this again but at room temp, I think it will take on a totally new flavor warm. Very nice.

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

I love the fact that they dialed the abv to 9.99

Pours a very classy clear looking brown/red, light shines right through, a little bit of a visible white head that falls away to the rim quickly.

Smell is light maple, molasses, faint citrus hops with grapefruit, lemon and orange notes. A wiff of brown sugar when pushing a little air into the nose, very sweet and malty overall. More hops than expected, but a pleasant surprise.

I really was not expecting this, strong up front bitterness those citrus notes do stand out but almost feeled candied. Right away reminds me of orange gummies covered in sugar, but as if they had been caramelized. Strong butterscotch notes, wiffs of pastry like delights, toffee and darkened sugar bring out the backbone. The bitterness and even caramel malt fall quick to a splash of almost super sweet raisin and plum.

Mouthfeel is a very excellent thick, really feels like something that is meant to and does have a lot of rich body. Sharp carbonation, that seems to tickle and play with the mouth.

drinkability is great, this is something meant to be sipped of course despite the very hidden abv, but at the same time a few in a night wouldnt be a bad thing.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coca cola stream with off white head. Smell is pretty strong of hops, with lots of malt, and a sugar sweetness. There is a tinge of alcohol in the smell. Taste is well balanced between hops and malt, with a good aftertaste. Carbonation is high and is highly drinkable for 9.9%abv. I drank the first warm semi warm and it's still delicious.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L (4.25) – Very nice amber color. This is honestly my favorite color. Nice little head too.

S (4.5) – Smells great. You really get that piney, bitter smell that you want.

T (4) – Tastes really good. Not quite what I was expecting by the style or name. I do not get much sweet or alcohol, but it is good.

F (4) – Has nice mouthfeel. Goes down well.

O (4.25) – I’m kinda new to Lagunitas stuff, and had heard a lot about this one. I thought it was good, but not top shelf, run all over town to buy, type of beer. Nice beer, and I’d add to my rotation.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,613 ratings.
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