Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,817 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:
#3,306
Reviews:
1,627
Ratings:
5,817
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
303
Gots:
1,398
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,817 |  Reviews: 1,627
Photo of Prospero
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of jp32
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent amber hue with no head, yet the carbonation still looks nice. Smells sweet and malty.

This has a very unique taste. I'm surprised at how much the brown sugar comes through in the flavor. Its syrupy sweet with a few mild hoppy notes. A strong alcohol-warming in the finish.

This is a nice medium-bodied beer. The syrupy taste doesnt transfer to a syrupy mouthfeel, which is a good thing.

Drinkability, well, its good for one or two, but I wouldnt want to drink them all night. Still a a good drinkability though considering its 9.83 abv.

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Photo of deadliest
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Piccadilly on Neil, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, released in early winter 2012
Glass: Tulip

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' is a strongly hoppy (US west coast style) ale with more caramel flavor than most DIPAs offer. While it could easily qualify as one, it instead lands in the "strong ale" catch-all, equally fine. The beer is quite drinkable, but I found it to be a somewhat generic version of the "highly hopped, high ethanol" west coast style beers I've had in the past. Thus, while tasty, I was never surprised or stricken with the particular character that defines this beer relative to others. Might I try it again when very fresh? Sure.

Pours approximately a 1cm tall head of dirty white bubbles, small in size, with average retention of one to two minutes. The head, as it falls, leaves some thick washes of lace along the innards of the glass, a variety of solid walls of sticky foam to mixed spiderweb-like patterns. The head eventually wastes away to a fine cap of foam atop the body of the beer. The body itself is a strong copper-orange color, with light bringing out brighter orange-yellow hues. The beer is somewhat hazy (perhaps 30% opaque), but carbonation is still readily visible through it, quite actively rising from the center of the glass.

Aroma of fairly substantial caramel and its attendant sweetness, though I wouldn't describe it as reminding me of brown sugar. This is joined to some tropical fruit and mild citrus, from ale yeast or hops, who knows. There's also mild pepperiness and faint ethanol lingering in the background. In general, pleasing and appetizing, if not particularly unique.

In general, this tastes pleasant if you appreciate US west coast-style, well-hopped beers (and I do), with a substantial malt backbone, but it's also not particularly different from many others in the same hop intensity and ethanol content categories. Front of palate is of heavy caramel sweetness with hints of hop or yeast-derived fruit esters and minor bitterness. Mid-palate finds the hops slightly taking the main focus, with bitterness, grapefruit, woodsy/herbal, and mild tropical fruit all being as though filtered through a screen of caramel sweetness and flavor. Back of palate notices sweet, heavy caramel notes, ethanol, and herbal/woodsy/green hop flavors with strong bitterness. Aftertaste focuses on bitterness, mild caramel sweetness, and lingering ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium to medium-low intensity, leading to a beer that is slightly foamy on the palate, but never quite fizzy. Ethanol is felt primarily in the nostrils after each sip, slightly burning the back of the throat as well. Closes out semi-dry, with modest residual stickiness along the palate.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from 2010. drank my from chimay chalice.

A- this one pours out a translucent ruby red colored body with brownish highlights. the beer looks almost still. very small crown of a head that is khaki colored. little to no lacing left behind.

S- very sweet is my initial reaction. brown sugar and caramel. a little bit of nuttiness in the nose also. at the end im picking up more hops than i was expecting to find.

T- as with the nose, the taste is very sweet. it starts out with a strong brown sugar and caramel like maltiness. in the middle there is a moderate nutty flavor. earthy and piny hops finish this one off. the hops seem too assertive for what i was expecting. the alcohol is well hidden.

M- medium bodied with a low level of carbonation. aside from detracting from the appearance, the light carbonation really works for this one. palate coating and sticky. little to no warming from the alcohol.

D- the large amount of hops in this one seems out of place, but this is a brewery that loves to over-hop things. i bet this one gets even better with a few years on it. a great value at $9.99/sixer on this one. too strong to think about more than one at a time.

 1,184 characters

Photo of Raime
4.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lagunitas Brown Sugga


Due to Lagunitas constantly putting out great beer ( for the most part ) I wanted this one for quite some time. Seeing as this is the brew Sucks replaced, I shall hold it to the same standard in terms of my ratings. Finally at long last found a sixer for $11.99 at my local shop. Drank one, and I'll review on the second one. Passed up Blackout Stout for this guy, let's hope it was worth it. Enough talk, let's crack this fucker.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear amber with a monster moderately off white head that sticks around forever and a half leaving immediate stick as it slowly dies down to a large frothy canyon amongst the top of the drink. The carbonation appears to be very low on this brew. Lacing is extraordinarily attractive after the brew is finished and leaves a nice sticky ladder to the depthsof the promised land of hell.

Smell - The nose starts of pungent with a large smack in the face of bitter fruit juices and brown sugar. There is an ever presence of alcohol as expected for 9.8% but it is nice and fits the beer very well. Doesn't smell like a high abv stout or what have you, much cleaner without any specific alcoholic beverage to match it up to. Caramel maltyness as well.

Taste - The flavor profile starts off with a smorgasbord of that big bitter fruit juicyness I mentioned in the smell. The brown sugar and malty goodness are as prevent as you would think and the two meld perfectly and turn just a touch spicy on the tail end. Alcohol has a bit of a showing at the tail end as well though it is very tame for the beer being nearly ten fucking percent. The fruits I'm picking up are pineapple dominant with a touch of grapefruit and mango.

Feel - The feel on this one can vary considerably depending on the temperature of the beer as I've noticed. Drink this one on the warm side for full effect. Body is thin to full,again, depending on the temperature. Since the head has settles down to a thick frothy cap after half an hour the brew is very creamy. A nice spicyness in the mouth and all the flavors mentioned in the nose remain. A bit of an alcohol bite but it is so pleasant and fittingly so that you'll wanna smack your wife.

Overall - Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. This one was well worth the wait. A perfect unison of malt and hop. Too fucking easy to drink at just barely shy of 10%. Flavors come together as best they can for the abv and they are just...damn bruh. Lagunitas really did it with this beer. One of the best strong IPAs I have ever come across. Of you are a DIPA fan and you see this, buy it. All. It reminded me of the undercover shutdown ale they put out, only with better hoppyness and better balance. Truly a masterpiece. End review..

 2,761 characters

Photo of soupyman10
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks very pretty, deep amber color with a nice off-white head that leaves excellent lacing. Nose is lots of sweet fruit and malt, and a good bit of alcohol too. Flavor's lots of toffee and caramel malt, very mild hop flavor. Alcohol comes through strong, overwhelming some of the other possible flavors. Some light dried fruit. Mouthfeel is solid, medium to light with good carbonation. Overall, a drinkable beer, although the alcohol flavor and general ABV is just a little too high for more than one or two.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a bottle a forgot I had it in the fridge. Glad I found it.

Orangey amber pour with a decent amount of sticky lacing being left on the glass. Head stuck around for a while and was thick and foamy.

Floral and hoppy in the aroma. Like a barleywine and IPA. Resin, pine, citrus, and brown sugar. Don't get much of the malt though.

Malt sweetness and a ton of hops are first on the taste. Pine, citrus and sticky blast of malt come next. The best part of the beer is the finish which produces the huge amount of brown sugar, caramel, and gingerbread. Its like Christmas for your palate.

This is a very hoppy and all together sweet (from the malt sweetness and brown sugar) brew. Recommended for the winter and holiday season, or if you forget you have it and drink it in April!

 787 characters

Photo of TooGood
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another phenomenal brew for Lagunitas, best looking beer I've seen. The 9.8% abv can really sneak up on you as it's such a smooth and tasty drinker.

149 characters

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jooler
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great hoppy smell and look but tastes pretty sweet with a very noticeable alcohol taste. Lagunitas sucks is a lot better

120 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Copper in color with 2 fingers of off white head that leaves a great amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Tons of pine and citrus.

Taste- In the front is a carmely bready malt flavor that is quickly cut down by a piney hop finish. Slight earthy tones throughout.

Mouthfeel- Very nice and thick for the style.

Overall- A very odd take on an American Strong Ale. To heavily hopped in my opinion. Various things to both love and hate about this beer.

 511 characters

Photo of Eddiehop
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bzach
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of nwhittin
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

From notes taken at brewery yesterday, where it was listed at 9.9% ABV:

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate colour with impressive head and lacing. Thick but not oily mouthfeel, remarkably "normal" given the high ABV. Aroma of sweet, roasted malts with caramel tones and some plum or other fruitcake spices. These aromas translate into the finish, where I did not expect the almost overwhelming sweetness in the finish.

Overall struck me more as a sweet and malty barley wine rather than a strong ale. Glad to have tried it, but did not order a second.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber color with two fingers of dense, fluffy head. Head retention is very good, lacing is extremely good.

S: Overripe pineapple, citrus hops, and sweet sugary caramel dominate the aroma. Not great.

T: Taste is better than aroma, but still not great. Toffee and caramel sweetness are quite strong with the same overripe pineapple and a bit of piney hops. Hip bitterness remains fairly strong, but is obviously a bit faded.

M: On the thick side with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The faded hops flavor here is hard to get past. I enjoyed the malty sweetness, but I got an overripe pineapple flavor that lingered long after swallowing the beer.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint.

A - Nice amber-copper color, clear, huge 3-finger head.
S - Pretty bold aroma, citrusy, almost dry.
T - Very hoppy, citrusy flavors. Not as sweet as I feared. Yet fairly smooth. Does not burn, but you feel the alocohol as you get maybe halfway through the beer. Reminds me a bit of a mild barleywine.
M - Medium to full bodied. would be better IMO if malts were more forward.
O - A well done beer that just isn't my favorite style. I'll drink the remaining from my six (I might even experiment with mixing, who knows), but I can handle just one at a time. not because of the ABV but because of the hops.

 624 characters

Photo of Brolo75
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chingringo
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, dark amber with a nice aroma of caramel/brown sugar, with notes of citrus and pine as well.

As far as taste goes, the west coast hops are evident, but far from overpowering and the brew goes down smooth. A bit of alcohol in the aftertaste but nothing too strong despite the 10% abv. Definitely not overly bitter or too much alcohol present in the taste.

Has a thick body, and is a nice beer that I could sip on for quite some time. Overall is amazingly drinkable and I would go back for again.

A good interpretation of the style for sure.

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Photo of grahamboudreaux
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a light amber with a 2 finger light beige head. Huge clumps and trails of lacing litter that glass.

S- caramel, dark fruits, biscuit, citrus, and pine.

T- sweet caramel, citrus rind, toasted malts, and bitter pine and citrus at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy with slightly dry finish from the bitterness.

O- First time trying this beer and a very tasty strong ale. Almost a hoppy imperial red ale that has some dark fruit notes along more sweetness. Glad I picked up a 6 pack.

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Photo of JTomczak
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Honeybourne
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,817 ratings