Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,823 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:
#3,361
Reviews:
1,628
Ratings:
5,823
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
301
Gots:
1,403
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,823 |  Reviews: 1,628
Photo of Rifugium
2.93/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Clear, mahogany-amber pour, with a small beige head that retained well and left splotches of lacing on the glass. Muted caramel aroma, a touch of fruity hops. I really expected something different with this one, but instead got the same old typical, basic, dull Lagunitas flavor. Caramel malts, tree sap, pine and citrus hops, woody nutshells, stale alcohol notes, some off-flavors consistent with oxidation. About medium in body and carbonation. I'd probably never get this again. So many uninteresting beers from this brewery, and this one's no different.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G: Oversized snifter. No logo.

A: Pours a copperish color that is really more red. Pretty decent head with good retention on the sides of the glass, although the head off of the initial pour recedes quickly. Definite alcohol presence.

S: Sweet and vibrant. The brown sugar really comes through, as do miscellaneous dark fruit vapors. Maybe a hint of molasses.

T: A bit of a letdown after the smell. Only mildly sweet with some alcohol presence. The taste and smell are not corresponding for me.

M: Slight carbonation. Although this is a fairly-high ABV beer, it doesn't hide the alcohol nearly as well as others of its kind. I'm only picking up a slight hint of the fruits that were present in the nose.

D: A pretty decent brew, although I don't know if I'd really go for more than one within a sitting. I keep see picking it from time to time, maybe it'd be better on tap.

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown color, clear. Long-lasting head that leaves ample amount of lace on the glass.

Very low aromas--some molasses/candy sugar; no discernable hop

Caramel flavors--more sweet than bitter, but the hop is present and balances this beer just enough. Very full bodied. Good carbonation. The aftertaste brings out the hop. Interesting journey through the flavor profile.

Regardless of the complexity, this is an easy to drink beer. It is VERY deceptive given the alcohol content (9.9%!!). I could not note the usual oiliness or aftertaste of alcohol. Drink this one with some caution.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an amber rose with a slight off white head that left decent lacing. Aroma of malty sweetness, fruits, and spices.

Taste is sweet sugars and malt up front followed by a nice assertive hop presence and alcohol in the finish. That sweet brown sugar taste really hangs onto the palatte in the aftertaste. Provides a nice, solid mouthfull with some nice heat in the finish.

Sweet & warming and surprisingly drinkable, this is a great strong ale to sit down with on a cold, winter's night.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: Pours a hazy reddish amber with 1/2" white head which fades slowly and yields splotchy and spotty lace.

S: Citrusy, herbal, fruity, caramel, malts and a slight "old ale" note.

T: Pine and citrus, sweetly malted, caramel, toffee and faint molasses.

M- Semi-full body and medium carbonation. Finishes sweet and malty with a slight syrupy, resiny dankness.

O: Rated as a strong ale, but seems like a hybrid of a malty DIPA, old ale, and BW. A nice sipper for sure.

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Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of woodychandler
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well, if this isn't par for the course these days. I had just opened this bottle and the phone rings and it's my mentor, Lew Bryson, asking me to come over to LNCBC to meet him and his wife for a beer. How could I refuse?

This one, in the menatime, poured with a huge, thick light-tan head with little retention, but plenty of lace. The nose is at once both intensely sweet and intensely hot with alcohol. Oooh. The mouthfeel was really thick and full, not creamy, just thick. A big sugary, alcohol presence on the tongue and on the finish. I really didn't get much out of this, other than alcohol and sweet and given the high alcohol content, I cannot recommend it for drinkability.

Off to meet Lew and his missus ...

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Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2 fingers of sand-colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight pine& herbal hops

T: Huge pine hops, cakeyness, & brown suggah up front. Earthy & grapefruit hops & some honey dryness follow as this warms. Finishes with subtle booze warmth, rough grapefruitty hops, a little caramel & yes, brown sugar, works for me!

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, but a little thin for the style

Drinks damn easy for the abv, an almost great take on the style

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Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BEER88
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WoodBrew
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sure the amber brown color with nice head lures one into a false sense of security...Then BAM you take one to the buds!!!! The strong alcohol detracts from the buzz of this beer. This beer is tough and definitely not a session brew. However, if you can stick through the first half of the bottle the beer smooths out...most likely cuz the taste buds are numb. Certainly worth a try, but a six will do just fine.

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Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.54/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany-hued body with a small beige head.

Smell: Earthy, sweet-smelling caramel maltiness with bright citrus, maple, and spruce notes.

Taste: Caramel malts with a hard candy sweetness. A drizzle of maple syrup. A nice mergence of citrusy grapefruit and Valencia oranges. Spicy spruce component. Lightly acidic. Moderate, resinous hop bitterness. A bit of hot alcohol warmth around the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit beyond medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not nearly as graceful and seamless as some of the great barleywines, but decent enough for the price, I suppose.

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Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - It has a dark amber color, also poured with a lot of carbonation and no head.

s - Smells sweet, almost fruity. Also smells a little like syrup

t - Tastes great; very sweet taste like sugar or molasses, also a little fruity.

m - Medium body, was not as carbonated as it looked.

d - I liked this one a lot. Can't believe it's over 9%. Could definitely drink a few of these taste-wise but might refrain due to the ABV. Definitely think it's worth checking out.

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Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Mutiny Hall in Seattle.

A: A nice brown/mahogany color with a one finger khaki colored head on top. Nice head retention with solid lacing all around the glass.

S: Brown sugar, caramelized sugar, some light citrus fruit.

T: Similar to the aroma with a lot of brown sugar. The hops were a bit more prominent with some bolder citrus fruit, grapefruit mostly with a nice amount of pine as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly smooth and easy to drink for ~10%.

O: Pleasantly surprised, though I shouldn't really be since Lagunitas makes some solid beer. Would drink again.

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Photo of dvmin98
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a deep amber appearance with a head that sticks around for a little bit, then laces along the glass.

Smells nice and hoppy; more than I expected.

Flavor is hops and biscuit, with some citrus notes

Mouthfeel isn't too sharp. Feels good on the tongue and the carbonation sits there for a few.

Overall, I really like this beer. I've been waiting a long time and I think its better than Holiday Sucks, which replaced it last year, although I did enjoy HS.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark orange-copper with a faint roseate glow. Brown Shugga' looks like a brighter, sunnier barleywine. The magnificent head is the color of golden brown sugar, is the consistency of whipped butter and leaves a wonderful lace display. There's nothing about the appearance that I don't love.

A sweet, malty sipper would have been fantastic. However, if the nose is any indication, the brewery has seen fit to chuck in a generous load of American hops as well. Brown Shugga' smells like a DIPA that flavors its brown sugary malt side a fraction more than its citric hop side. If it tastes like it smells, I'll be in beer heaven.

The American strong ale, American barleywine and DIPA styles overlap to some extent. This Lagunitas offering could fit comfortably into any of them; maybe not so much the third. For my money, it tastes like a barleywine that's sweeter than it is bitter; like it has been sitting in my cellar for two years and has been smoothed and mellowed to perfection. Actually, that's exactly where it has been and that's exactly what has happened.

The flavor profile consists of wall-to-wall caramel malt coated with brown sugar and toffee pudding, studded with sticky dates and drizzled with caramel syrup. The 'boozy cherries' nature of some barleywines is present as well and comparisons to holiday fruitcake would not be out of line. Even though hops take a backseat to the malt juggernaught, a spicy, Chinook-like pungency is undeniable.

The beer is significantly sweet without crossing the line into cloying. There's enough bitterness present to take what could have been a sticky mess and turn it into pure, liquid poetry. The mouthfeel is everything I'd hoped for and more. Words like viscous, velvety and luxurious come to mind.

I've contemplated cracking this bottle open on many occasions over the past year. I'm glad I waited though. I have no doubt that time has been more than kind and has turned the beer into the glorious exilir that I'm enjoying so much today. I would love to have a case or two sleeping in my cellar right this very moment. Brown Shugga', how come you taste so good?

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,823 ratings