Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,581 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,581 | Ratings: 5,635
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 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 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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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 Duster72
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby/amber color with very little head. Smell is malts, brown sugar, molasses, piney hops, and alcohol. Taste is primarily sweet matls and brown sugar/carmel. Surprisingly not too sweet or cloying. Perfect balance of sweet flavors and alcohol. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side, which is fine for the style. Crazy drinkable at ABV. Another excellent beer from Lagunitas, as I have grown accustomed to.

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Photo of garbercury
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Clear reddish hue, a little bit of lacing but not much head or retention.

S--Has the smell of a weak barleywine. Almost a medicinal smell to it.

T--Medicinal, bitter, strong alcohol aftertaste to be sure.

M--One of the better things, which is not really the way it should be.

D--This beer is strong to be sure. I like Lagunitas, good brewery. Worth a try if you enjoy strong ales, not a favorite though.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown Shugga pours as a clear, hazy, amber color with a touch of orange. A fluffy white head accompanies the pour and sticks around for a while.

The smell is a blend of sweet malts, hops, and a hint of a floral aroma.

On the sip you get hops up front, but those quickly give way to the sweet malty tones brought on by the brown shugga that’s been added to the brew. Once the sweet notes have passed, hop oil lingers but doesn’t overpower.

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Photo of --Dom--
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is awesome. It has a taste and an aroma all it's own It doesn't follow a style or try to fit into a niche. It's just good. If you like barleywines and old ales you'll love it. If you like Ipa's and Dipa's you'll love it. Wish it was available year round.

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Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite pint glass

A - Beer pours a dark down color which produces a thin off white head that dissolves very quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

S - Plenty of brown sugar in the aroma hence the name. There are also hints of caramel, toffee and even an citrus like hop aroma on board in this sugary beer.

T - Tastes like a caramel chocolate candy bar with some finishing hops on the back end. Typically beers like this can be too sweet but I find this beer very well balanced and not too sweet which is a positive.

M - Moderate carbonation that is even a bit creamy. There is a bubbly slightly hopped finish to the beer on the back end.

D - A very drinkable beer but beware of the high 9.84% ABV on board which is very well hidden but will certainly catch up if you are not careful. Nice beer I like it!

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Photo of Douglas88
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade with Ty. Pours a light brown with little to no head. The taste is mostly a sweet smooth malt, some hops, citrus, cinnamon and apples, and some brown sugar. It's a great mix that really blends together nice. No real notice of the alcohol. An easygoing drink with a lot to like.

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Photo of boomer31
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange and transparent. Nice white head, perhaps a slight tan head. Barely sticks to the glass

S - Caramel malt and hints of floral hops.

T - Sweet malt hits right up front then the grassy hops. A dry piney finish . I remember this beer being more sweet last time I had it but the bitterness is plesant. Perhaps a touch of sugar in the taste as well.

M - A nice balance of rich malts make this stick to your tongue just like the glass

D - Pretty good balance between big hop and malt. Again I recall this being more sweet in past releases but the bitterness is nice

Overall a solid brew especially for the price point...not surprising for a Lagunitas brew. A month or so might do this wonders but fresh is a nice balance of hop and malt

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

A: Nice amber brown. With a very strong head; 3 fingers high and holding.

S: Nutty! And vanilla, hops, and a little alcoholy. Maybe the slightest hint of citrus (orange) from the hops.

T: Sweet, like powdered sugar sweet. Nutty! Maple syrup and honey and vanilla. Followed by subtle hops (on the tip and edges of the tongue). Very balanced. The sweetness really balances the high alcohol.

M: Nice carbonation. Very balanced. Coats the tongue well, and gives the tongue a nice zip afterwards.

D: Considering the alcohol content, this drink is very smooth. Feels nice, the aroma lingers, and the taste stays. Not bad at all!

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Photo of santomark
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

This is one mother of a beer! One of the best strong ales I've had and the sad thing is I can only get it this time of year. If you take a breathe of this in, it's like sticking your nose in a bag of brown sugar. Very sweet up front on the nose. Goes down malty, fig, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, a mildly spiced brew. Overall, I am in love with this beer. I wish they did some variety for this, age it in some whiskey, bourbon, rye barrels. Give it an even better kick.

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Photo of Ghenna
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, purchased from Total Wines in Roseville, into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a light brown with a white/cream head ~3 fingers. There is a little of bit of lacing of the head from top to bottom.

S: Brown sugar primarily, with a mild hop aroma and hints of its alcohol content

T: Simply put, a hopped gnarleywine. The heavy sugar/malt taste is evident, though it is balanced with not too subtle (though not too heavy) hops.

M: slightly sticky and a little heavy, though not at all unenjoyable

D: A sipper for sure, it is a regular staple in my fridge door when I can get it.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter glass a dark-red/light-brown with no head or lacing, making this apperance wise below average.

Aromas and flavors of sweet caramel,barley, some citrus. Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

A little on the sweet side, the sweetness alone restricts the amount to consume, the alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Very nice. Makes an excellent after-dinner brew.I wouldn't have more than two.

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Photo of Emnmarko
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Caramel colored brew with loads of sediment. Looks like my kid backwashed in it for an hour. A creamy two finger head forms after a heavy pour.

S- Rich deep malts. Some booze. Almost an aged aroma.

T- Rich roasted malts with caramel sweetness that balances nicely with the bitterness. The flavor is big and bold. A dry milder and warm aftertaste hangs on for a few.

M- Surprisingly easy to drink for an ale with an abv. of 9.9%. The alcohol is there, but more in spirit. Not a session beer by any stretch but not a sipper either.

O- This is a fine brew with an amazing amount of flavor coming at you but in a way that you can enjoy. Lagunitas has continued to impress me with their thoughtful brewing. Having tried the "replacement ale" I had to try this one as well. Well done.

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Photo of mikeys01
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz bomber. Appearance is a very clear amber, with a slight tint of red sunset. Topped with a slightly viscous off white head, and very clingy lacing.

Aroma is super candy sweet, filling my nostrills with scents of burnt sugar and cotton candy. Slight citrus and alcohol notes also discernable.

Taste is initially sweet and rather hot with alcoholic burn, with some piney and sharp citrus hops kicking in the background as well. The middle brings on thick dark brown sugar, sticky sweet and lightly caramelized. Not quite as complex as a barleywine but very tasty in its own right as something a little different. Finish is nicely bitter, warming, with lingering hints of biscuit and vanilla.

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Photo of YankChef
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark amber colored, with hints of peach and a maple syrup color

dark sweetness up front, waiting to be hit by the 9.9% a/c but it is very well masked in this darkly sweet balanced brew.

Certainly a sipper, however a very enjoyable one. Also inexpensive as the single bottle cost me $1.50. Try this one out if you can find it

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Photo of SerialHiker
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly transparent brownish orange…some nice bubble action going on in the middle…two fingers of light khaki colored head sticking around for the review...looks good, but anticipating it being a bit watery…(4/5)

Smell: Tons of piney hops…citrus hops, sweet malt, candy sweetness, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit and some caramel…tons going on here if you stick your nose all the way in…(4.5/5)

Taste: Piney, earthy hops, sweet malt and alcohol heat right off the bat…there is a nice brown sugar sweetness to this, definitely living up to the name…sweet malt is there but fighting a severe uphill battle…some spice (clove maybe) to this one…some caramel and cream notes…finishes with pineapple, citrus, pine and tons of hoppy bitterness and resin…tons and tons of flavor…(4/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with tons of carbonation…sweet, chewy, resiny…some piney bitterness in the after taste…alcohol heat very apparent…(3.5/5)

Overall: Wow! This brew is somethin’…it’s an overabundance of pine/citrus/earthy hops that dominate and then some…sweet malts do their best and are complimentary…I’d have to say the brown sugar stops this thing from going off the hops deep end and does round off/balance the super hops where the sweet malt leaves off…my lips are sticky with hops resin, this is anything but “watery”…there is some spice warmth that I wasn’t expecting…the only downside with this one is the alcohol heat which is undeniable and maybe a bit to strong…it’s super drinkable, maybe scarily drinkable seeing as it’s 9.9% ABV, but that’s the risk you take…I’m not sure if I could drink more than 2 of these in one sitting and still complete full, coherent thoughts, but one is very, very nice…(4/5)

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

Purchased at local liquor store unknowingly poured into chalice. Nice fluffy slightly off white head, with muffy lacing, head lingers about a centimeter from the surface. The body is a deep red with lots of dark sort of purply tones. Smells of malty sweetness, this doesn't really emanate a very thick malt rather a sweet malt with nice toast notes, the hops are not too over powering but provide a nice balance. Flavor is slightly thin and sort of a sharp sweet bitterness, which I'm sort of indifferent to. The mouthful is sort of flat and through that the sweet, sort of cough spryness gets a little not so tasty, but I have to give it props for a yummy hop burps. Honesty this could be useful, but I'm not sure I'll buy again worth a try though.

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

Poured a beautiful clear amber color with a 3 finger head that reduced 1/8" for the rest of the drink.
Medium lacing that sticks to the sides throughout the drink
Smells sweet, very caramel with slight hoppy tones
Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.
Nice sweet taste, which was expected from the brown suger. Not over the top, well balanced with the hops.
Much better than I expected and I could feel the 9.9% ABV pretty quick.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber to caramel color with slight ecru
head and lacing

S: Malty maple aromas

T: Sweet like the aforementioned brown shugga'
with the clear presence of alcohol and
an unpleasant acidic aftertaste.

M/D: Good body and proper carbonation set this
brew up nicely but the acidity on the
swallow and

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Nice 3 finger creamy head with lots of laving. Mild malt and grass aroma. Big malt flavor with hop bite. Too much for me. This beer has a bit of a heavy oily feel.

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

A - Pours a clear, orange-tinged copper color with a creamy, off-white head that retains well and leaves ample lacing behind.

S - Sweet, caramel maltiness with some citric and piney hops balancing it out. A hint of brown sugar in there as well, although perhaps this is just due to the power of suggestion.

T - Reminiscent of a sweeter DIPA. Slightly toasted, caramel and brown sugar maltiness carries the flavor, but is balanced out with an ample amount of spicy, citric, piney hops. Definitely leans towards the sweet side of things, but the hops really help keep it in check and make this quite a tasty brew.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation. Smooth and rich.

D - An interesting offering from Lagunitas that hides its almost 10% ABV very well. One or two of these are definitely enough, but its quite a nice winter sipper.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a fairly dark amber color with a 2 finger head and very nice lacing.

S: Extremely sweet hoppy smell. It's hard to identify anything other than sugar and hops in the nose. Somewhat fruity the more I smell it.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the nose suggests. Much better balance of sweet hops and malts. The alcohol is detectable, but pretty well hidden.

M: Fairly heavy mouthfeel...almost chewy. Smooth and easy to drink with moderate carbonation.

O: This is a very tasty beer. I'm glad I tried it. The nose is a little sweeter than I prefer, but other than that it's great.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,635 ratings.
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