Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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1,519 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

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Reviews: 1,519 | Ratings: 5,406
Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a pint glass. Brownish red with not much head to speak of.

S - Sweet, almost smells a little sour too. Malty. You smell the brown sugerness and just a tiny bit of hops.

T - Rich and sweet. Not bitter at all but you can taste the hops. Seemed a little bit sour to me but I drank this one almost at room temperature.

M - Smooth but in a light way. I know this thing is 9.9% ABV but it's masked fairly well. Alcohol kick.

D - This is the 2nd time I've had this from the bottle and it seemed much better the first time I had it. My judgement may be a little skewed since I drank it fairly warm. Not a bad beer. My first barelywine and definitely not the last.

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Photo of busterwhite
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark golden/amber color with a 2 finger head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma of pine, citrus and some sweetness.

Nice full flavor with citrus and pine up front followed by a good balanced sweetness. Finished with mix of bitter and sweet in the aftertaste.

Medium to full body, a little slick with good carbonation.

Overall this is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of kjlcm
3.39/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one and while I like it I am not sure I can recommend. At 9.9% it is definitely a strong ale and I could not imagine drinking more than one of these at a sitting The brown sugar is quite pronounced from smell through taste. Along with the the hops and the strong malt backbone it is an interesting contrast. Ok, I will recommend!

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't have much experience with this style but STRONG Ale is fitting for this one. It is definitely unusual but am trying to expand my horizons to the different styles. Huge sweet aroma and taste. Boozy too. The more I sip it the more I think it is growing on me. I only picked up 1 bottle in a mixed sixer so will definitely try again.

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Photo of bradleyp
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks again to the Bier Stein for stocking this beer. Poured into a 6 oz. glass. Split with GF.

A: Light brown, very see-through.

S: Hops and malts blend exceptionally. Brown-sugar aroma is very pungent.

T: Very hoppy. I could also taste some sugar sweetness.

M: Went down very nicely. Not too spicy.

D: I would surely buy this again, and again, and again.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a copper hue
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
There was a malt/hop presence that came through a lot stronger than I expected- but it was welcome. For some reason I was expecting something different. But the flavor was bold and lingering as I’ve come to expect from Lagunitas
I have to give this one a try again, I may have had something else to clog my senses, but I wasn’t entirely impressed which was disappointing because I was quite looking forward to it. Hold on – I’ll be right back I’m going to go buy some more and re-edit this later icon smile Beer reviews

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Photo of Lillenk
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a little lacking. Light brown in color with a creamy head, but a little foggy.

Smell was nice. Lots of sweet smells like you would expect from the name but also lots of other things going on as well.

Taste was fantastic. So much happening with layers of sweetness and hops and a huge lasting stay with you for a while finish.

Mouthfeel was huge but in a good way with all the layers of flavors. The higher ABV would make it hard to drink a bunch, but the taste makes you want to.

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Photo of Keystone
3.05/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know if I am drinking the same beer as some people? I was not sold on this one. Good feel to the beer and nice light carbonation as others have pointed out. However that was about it for me. Didn't smell good, too sweet on the front and the after taste is as if someone poured cheap vodka in my beer.

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Photo of halo21
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured nicely into a smaller pilsner glass (poured a third of a bottle and was able to get my nose in the glass)

Appearance: A beautiful orange and red with a chunky white head that left lacing all over the inside of the glass. Very clear with fine carbonation.

Smell: Apples. Bold, citrus with floral, and sweet malts. This beer has a ton of aroma coming off of it representing the size of this beer.

Taste: Amazing flavors, of fruit, brown sugar sweetness, and a huge hop finish: bitter and dying, but extremely complex. This heavy brew is a great desert in and of itself.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing but still very strong presence. The story shown above behind this beer - the Old GnarlyWine Ale gone awry - is very present in this beer in that it is strong and feels big.

Drinkability/Palitability: Medium to low; this is a slow sipping - next time out of a sniffer and I will write the notes up on here - after meal beer. You could drink a few of these if it was not for the teamwork of such a high ABV and weight.

Notes: I love everything this beer is, and have never been let down by Lagunitas. This brew has a very 'fall season' feel; particularly the North East, where I live. It's apple smell mixed with the sweetness brings to mind Autumn. Next time I drink this - in the sniffer - I will be trying this beer with sliced apple and some sharp cheddar cheese.

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Photo of wangbruins
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Very thick looking dark caramel color with a very small head, but the color definately fits the name

S- Strong sugar smell as well as a flower scent and some earth tones laced in

T- Very earthy with a lot of caramel overtones and a sweet, sugary aftertaste

M- It's like my coffee, smooth and sweet, very easy with a slight after bite. It's a very, very pleasant feel on the palate

D- This beer is phenomenal for a sweet lover, which I am. It's very surprisingly drinkable and tasty

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Photo of Raisingfable
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Crystal clear, bready, harmonious caramel/brown sugar and hops, with perfect (not-over-the -top) stickiness to compliment its flavor profile. I love savoring this beer and letting the hops build up, sip after sip. May not be for everyone, but the fresher the better in my book!

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

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a big off-white head.

Smells of sweetness, toasty malts a hint of hop and some dark fruit as it warms up.

Lots of hops up front followed by a sweet malty middle where you can really start to taste the brown sugar. Nothing over powers anything in the taste and it all comes together to be wonderfully balanced.

Mouthfeel is slick creamy and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability is way to easy for this monster. Where is the 9%+?

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Photo of tjkurz
2.84/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served out of bottle in pint glass. Nice but lighter brown was expecting darker - a few fingers of head that held nicely. Smelled boozey and hoppy for a brown. I was expecting at least a hint of brown sugar and a lot more maltiness. Felt decently carbonated but not too much so, great mouthfeel when warmer. Tasted boozey and hoppy for a brown. Drinkability - I really hadn't read the abv, a little boozey for me.

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Photo of jman42
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

A = Crystal clear copper color. The head was moderate but the lacing is still sitting at the top of my glass even though it is half gone.

S = Sweet and malty

T = Definitely taste the alcohol in this. One of those beers that I didn't realize it was 9.9% until I took a taste. Taste the sweetness of the brown sugar too.

M = Smooth on my tongue. Combination of a lingering malty and bitterness taste after I swallow.

O = A nice beer to age probably. A great beer to have on a cold Autumn/Winter night after a hard day of fun. Pour into a snifter and drink in front of the fire.

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Photo of bassboneman
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer, despite its ABV, pours a little lighter in appearance than you'd think.
It is VERY drinkable, which could be a dangerous thing, again considering the ABV!
Unlike beers like HopRod where you can clearly discern the alcohol finish - this beer does not seem to have that!
I hope y'all enjoy this beer as much as I do!
Up yours!

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

Pours a cloudy amber brown with floaties (my bad, poured out the whole bottle). There is no head and just a ring of white around the edge of the glass which leaves spotty residue. Pretty dense looking brew.

Has a tart, sweet, mildly hoppy nose with a thrust of caramelized malts. Light whiff of alcohol.

Very interesting. Nice full body of caramelized malts and a bite of citrusy hops up front. After that, all bets are off with a very sweet molasses (brown sugar, duh) and some strong alcohol roll around. Finishes warm and slightly bitter.

Heavier carbonation than is expected from the appearance but still a medium to medium-heavy body. Finishes only a little dry.

Had a sample 1/4oz taster a the liquor store and didn't think I liked this one. Turns out, if poured into a real glass and allowed to breathe a little, this is a pretty good beer. Not for quantity (9.84% ABV) but to sit and think about.

Another surprise brew and this time for the positive. Nice!

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

On tap at Tremont Tap House. Poured into a small tasteing glass.

A - Light brown in color, almost maple syrupy looking. Clear with no haze at all. Looks refreshing. Has a small one finger head on it that has pretty good retention. Small lacing on the glass after I finish.

S - Smells of sweet malts and molasses with loads of citrusy hops backing it up. Some smokey and roasted malts are also present. A nice balance of hops and malts. The IBU's definitely suprise me here because at 50 or so, it smells like theres way more.

T - Taste is very hop forward. Loads of piney and citrusy hops with some spicey and sweet tones as well. A all around great ale, the 10% alcohol isn't present in the mouth at all.

M - Mouthfeel is medium with a big bitter finish due to the hops.

D - A nice all around great ale from Lagunitas. Very balance and tasty. I'd get this again for sure.

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Photo of boogyman
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very clear amber color with a thin head that dissipates leaving some bubbles to gaze at. Bubbles coming up from the bottom is cool too. After a few gulps, the lacing shows itself as being quite decent and sticky.

S- Smells pretty sweet and you can tell of the brown sugar to come. Also some dark fruits in there that promise this beer to be pretty tasty.

T- Oh man what a awesome burst of tastes. Starts with some dark fruits and some brown sugar and then a bit of hops and a bitter bite. Boozyness comes on and is not too strong but very warming going down.

M- Very smooth! Its quite nice going down. Even though there is a noticeable boozyness to this brew, it doesn't have any burn going down.

D- Easily able to consume a 12oz bottle and I wouldn't have an issue putting down a 22oz bomber or even 2 or 3 12oz bottles. I can see this going pretty good with the upcoming thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of Bizz88
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear brown mahogany with a thin off white head but laced well the entire glass. A sugar malty sweet aroma with a hint of molasses. Sweet malty burnt carmel on the tongue with a slight hoppy finish. Medium body with nice carbonation. Very drinkable

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Photo of therobot
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich amber color

S: Sharp smell, citrus and sweet with a trace of booziness

T: Has a mild bitterness up-front and a nice sweet after-taste can definitely taste the sugar

M: mildly thick and moderately carbonated

D: I would give it pretty good marks on drink-ability, a little sweet for my taste.

Overall I liked it, as I seem to with all of Lagunitas offerings I have tried. Less than most, but it grew on me as I finished the bottle.

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Photo of uberabr
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Legend has it that Lagunitas pulled this one out of their hats as a last-ditch effort to salvage a dying batch of fermenting ale. “Why not add Brown sugar?” The rest is history. I’m not sure if I believe it, but it’s a nice story, and a pleasant beer.

A: Poured from the 22 into a Belgian abbey glass. Definitely unconventional. A rosy, brown color with little to no head but some lace.

S: This brew was described to me as the perfect mix of hops and malt. I didn't notice it at first, but there is definitely a very subtle but notable woodsy, even minty pine hop, which delicately masks a floral, orange malt backbone. Although it seems more serindipidous than intentional, it's very charming, and unique. Smells strongly of apples, and…duh…sugar. There are some more subtle fruity and citrusy notes; a little plum, some bananas, caramel and maple syrup.

T: Taste is pleasant, almost like a Dubbel. Sugary with a twist of orange and some caramel apples. Almost no alcohol is present at all, although I can definitely feel it. A definite but subtle malt. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good. A little parched, but an adequate body and good carbonation. Drinkability is perhaps the most notable part of this brew. Can’t taste the booze. Simple, trashy, and lovely.

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Photo of Marty
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep amber, with a good-sized, foamy head. Initially, its smell was much more prominent, almost floral. You can smell the brown shugga' in there.

Nice and malty tasting, but not unbalanced. This beer's hoppy, but the hops aren't the main attraction. It's the molasses!

This label declares this ale to be an experiment. As far as I can tell, the data shows that this beer rocks.

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

Pourd from a 12oz. bottle

9.9% ABV and a real good taste make for a dangerous concotion....awesome!

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a creamy head that dissipates quickly. Slight lacing, not much.

S: You can smell the hops and fruity prune kind of odor with a sweetness.

T: The hops grabs you at first but doesn't last which is interesting. For a 9.9% beer you can't notice the alcohol.

M: A bit of carbination and a slickness that coats the throat as it goes down.

D: This is a real good beer. I could drink quite a few, with the ABV being high, not sure I could drink a lot....oh, yes I could.

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

Pours a light golden reddish brown with a nice head and thick clumpy lacing. Smells of sweet dry honey and a nice little balance of smoothness and bitterness from the hops. The strong ABV hidden well. Definitely an enjoyable beer, would likely get another if available, but not going out of my way to track this down.

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Photo of JK4Stout
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass.
A- This deep caramel colored ale is gorgeous to look at. Part of me just wanted to let it sit and bubble for a while...part of me, but the drunk in me overtook that.
S- Here is where it is the big winner. This is obviously a sweet smelling, tasting, looking, etc beer. But the aroma given off by this brew makes me think of carnival food for some reason. It is simply a very warm happy swell. Not a lot of hops aroma, but there is plenty there.
T- Love this part! This beer is really smooth for 9.9%apv The sweetness isn't sickening or overpowering like many sweet beers can be, and there is a great little spice on the end.
M- Medium to large, not too much, but it certainly makes it's presence known.
D- This is one fine beer. I mean, I wouldn't expect to down a full 6er while watching a football game, but it certain makes for a nice after dinner beverage...or a before dinner beverage...or an after breakfast get the point. It ain't bad, folks.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,406 ratings.
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