Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

5,666 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,666 |  Reviews: 1,585
Photo of WritersBlock
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1424IpA
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Hibernator
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga Barley Wine
Sweet Release
22 oz brown bomber
Purchased for $5.75 while in NYC at a corner store. Nice to see this brewery represented in the city.

Pours a warm chestnut brown color. Light to mid brown in appearance with a tan colored head.

Whiffs of malt, plum, pecan pie, and esters.

Syrupy malt mouthfeel. Ripe plum juices covered in melted brown sugar sweetness. Fresh fruit soaked in alcohol presence, but the malty chew takes over.

I like. Very tasty and drinkable at 9.9% ABV. Pick this up if you see it on the shelves. I wouldn't go out of my way to find this, but its a good beer and a solid effort at the style.

 659 characters

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

Photo of justinm4bama
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of PaulSlazinger
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a dark amber bordering on cola with a big white head.

Aroma is malty alcohol lotta biscuit to it.

Taste is a very strong hoppy barleywine. Similar to fresh Bigfoot.

Good, but I'd kinda like to see the hops integrated more thoroughly.

 300 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clearish brown with a hint of red. A little viscous. Nose is alcohol, some malts, and sweetness. Almost like a malty wine. Taste is like a bitter barley wine. Has hints of smoke, sweetness is there but not too overdone, and hops in the finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well in the taste (although not in the nose). Not bad.

 323 characters

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev 0%

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

So Alberta missed out on the Brown Shugga train this last season so I had to wind up in sunny (this time) Victoria BC to snag a 6-pack. How exactly do distributors make these sorts of decisions? In any event, I got to relive the experience and now can write a legit review of this beer on the basis of more than fuzzy memory traces (particularly fuzzy considering the ABV on this heavy hitter). Color is lighter than expected, a clear reddish brown with generous amounts of sturdy light beige head. Smell is intensely sweet and malty, yet with a hop presence that makes one think IPA, fruity with a wisp of pine. Is this beer a barleywine, a double IPA, or a key example of the shades of gray, ill-defined "Americans strong" category? Probably a hybrid that features elements of all these styles. The palate is extremely fruity for starters, fruit punch, grilled pineapple, and candied boozy peaches carrying the top note and some faint cherry and plum in the background. There is also a tangerine peel, pepper, and faint pine hop presence that serves to cut the heavy-duty brown sugar sweetness, and to my palate the sugar is not as prominent as the name and initial expectation might suggest. This beer is surprisingly drinkable, on the thin side of moderate, and the well-concealed booze makes things even more dangerous, although I find that the alcohol presence does grow over the course of a bottle or two. Moderate carbonation and finishes sweet yet with some added medicinal bitterness not apparent at the front end. Hoppier, lighter, and perhaps sweeter than its stablemate Hairy Eyeball but certainly a close cousin, with some IPA ancestry apparent as well. I'd drink this on a semi-regular basis if it was more available in my neck of the woods. Maybe my liver is glad it is pretty scarce.

 1,800 characters

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

I love anytime I can try a Lagunitas brew. When I think American strong ales, Lagunitas and stone are the one two punch for me. Poured into a pint glass.

A- pours a copper orange color with a good head that resides leaving lacing and a slight head of foam. A hearty looking beer with good carbonation racing to the top

S- sweet sugar, caramel, molasses hops that dance with some piney hops presense. Very sweet and welcoming with the strong scent profile. The brown sugar is very unique in this stong ale presentation. The hop presence compliments it well

T- big time sweet!The malt is very sweet and strong at the same time. The brown sugar is the star of the show, yet there is still a hopped up flavor of pine and a dry finish. Very good taste profile. The strange part is the alcohol is not too crazy either

M- medium bodied and syrupy. Good flavor all over the mouth

D- this is dangerous! The combination of flavor and lack of the 9.999% alcohol presence make this delicious. I do think this is may be a one or two bottle doing the trick. Nevertheless, it's pretty drinkable

 1,085 characters

Photo of Cycle69
4.81/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of cvstrickland
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint willibecher glass from a twist-off-topped 12-ounce stubby, Lagunitas' Brown Shugga is sparkling-clear and orangish-copper with a finger-thick crown of stained ivory foam atop. The head relaxes in short order, resting at a creamy sheet that sticks thin rings of lacing onto the glass.

The sugary-caramel aroma is laced with citrus zest and drizzled over mild toasted malts, imparting a savory component to the dominant perfumey sweetness. Mushy apple and a tart, darkly fruity note of chocolate-covered cherries gain prominence as the drink progresses.

The taste is predictably sweet and decidedly fruity, with a notion of ripe Golden delicious apples pickled in dark rum. Plenty of syrupy brown sugar-coated toasty malts languish under the lightly-boozy fruitiness, and a touch of drying, bitter citrus oil in the finish cleans up the sugar-smack surprisingly well. Grainy-sweet toasted malts and smoked cherries linger in the aftertaste. Given the potency of the drink, the alcohol flavor component is well-hidden, but not stowed so far out of sight as to vanish from the profile entirely. The cooling fruitiness the 9.5% ABV provides is an integral part of the flavor and the feel of the drink, and brings a fine flush to the cheeks and stokes a hearty warming in the belly.

Full-bodied with light carbonation, the brew is a silky-smooth sipper, and tastes great, just like a young girl should. Yeah, yeah, yeah... WOOO!

 1,454 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep amber colouring with a 3/8" tan head that dissipated into a nice lacing at the edges of the glass.

S: Coconut, lime, mango, peppermint, tangerines.

T: Pine, grapefruit, sweet biscuit, coconut, tangerine and lime.

M: Thick somewhat syrupy viscosity and a medium to high level of medium carbonation.

O: For an American strong ale, this is fantastic in terms of both taste and smell. The weakest aspect of this beer can be found in the mouth feel, with its quite syrupy aspect. The first time I tried this beer its 9.99% ABV snuck up on me and I ended up waking with regrets.

 584 characters

Photo of T-34-85
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Pours nicely for a finger thick light tan head, with a dark ruby red colored body that is cleanly filtered.

The aroma is arid with floral hops, caramel and toffee maltiness, and slight hints of grapefruit.

The taste is comparable to a dry red wine up front, then takes a hoppy nose dive to grapefruit, and in the end is coated with the brown Shugga

Full in body, wetting to the palate, and a warm finish.

 407 characters

Photo of ChaseTheAce
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Dave1999
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep rich red colour, transparent with the smallest of white head.

The smell is sweet with a citrus hop smell.

The taste is sweet, there is brown sugar and a lot of citrus little hops.

The mouth feel is syrupy with medium carbonation.

This is strong, sweet and very tasty. Hides it's abv well.

 305 characters

Photo of sansho
4/5  rDev 0%

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

Photo of dfillius
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ronricorossi
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of AirBob
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Josholson666
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,666 ratings.
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