Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,797 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:
#3,158
Reviews:
1,624
Ratings:
5,797
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
302
Gots:
1,390
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,797 |  Reviews: 1,624
Photo of denverick
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear deep amber with a huge beige head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and very dense lacing.

s: Pine. Later, some vinegar. Uh oh.

t: Funky spoiled fruit under sharp hops. Fortunately the flavor does not linger through the dry finish. OK it's almost 10% ABV and does not burn the back of the throat much. But really. that and its sexy good looks are about all it has going for it.

m: Moderate with great body,.

o: Maybe I got a bad batch. Just not going for the funky dirty feet vinegar aroma and flavor. An isovaleric acid in the hops issue? Whatever it is, it's the first bad Lagunitas I have had. Reminiscent of my first Brooklyn Monster barleywine, which was like drinking liquid dirty gym socks (fortunately later bottles of that were better).

Not the expected "sweet release" the bottle label promised by a longshot. Love the appearance, which screamed quality. All downhill from there. If it was any worse it would have been a drain pour. Actually, it may be very soon.

If the others in the sixpack are better, I'll be back to re-review.

UPDATE 11/13/13: Had a second bottle tonight and fortunately it lacked the offending vinegar aroma and taste which caused me to drainpour the last few ounces of the first. However I did still get a dirty socks odor, and yet much more caramel malt and brown sugar in the flavor. Consequently upgrading my rating, which was a: 4.75 s: 3.25 t: 2.75 m: 4.0 and overall 2.75, ave. 3.08, to the above.

UPDATE 11/21/13: Third bottle from the sixpack lacked the vinegar and sock odor. Not sure what to make of that except the added sugar may result in some instability remaining in the bottle? Anyway this was even better but I won't bother raising the rating again unless the rest of the lot proves to be as good or better than this one. Hoppier but almost as malty as slightly cheaper ales I enjoy such as Shipyard Chamberlain and Geary's Pale Ale, but the higher ABV and somewhat meatier body makes the extra couple of bucks per sixpack for Shugga worth it as a nightcap.

UPDATE 12/19/13: Can't believe I waited this long to have another from the sixpack, but unfortunately this one is similar to the first, except the vinegar/dirty feet smell and taste are subdued enough that it is not as close to being a drain pour. Still, far from the promised "Sweet release." Funny how one bottle can be ok and yet another from the very same sixpack can be so much worse.

UPDATE 4/7/17: Despite obvious issues with the first sixpack three and a half years ago, this has become a personal staple., along with it's "little brothers" Undercover and Sumpin Sumpin. The flavor since has been reliably excellent and unique. Raising the ratings is long overdue, from smell 3.25 to 3.75, taste from 4-4.5, and overall from 4-4.5.

 2,839 characters

Photo of mattyrubes
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

appearance: a deep ruby red. good clarity and a finger plus of a tannish white head that leaves a bit of a lacing on the sides. looks tasty but I was hoping for a little more brown.

Smell: slightly weak for such a big brew. hops, citrusy and apricoty. good sweetness.

Taste: opens up with a blast of hops. grapefruit and apricot. a brief moment of super sweetness shines through. toasty malts. the malts are quickly taken back over by a lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy. huge hop bitterness lingers. some warmth thats good for a cold night.

Overall: huge battle of bitter and sweet. bitter wins out for now. its good but i want to revisit this one when it is not so fresh

 694 characters

Photo of ACB
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nick_asian
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of 2Xmd
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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

Pours a thick, solid, cream-colored 2 finger head from a turbulent pour. Good retention and awesome lacing. Liquid looks bright and clear, but it's actually extremely cloudy and translucent upon closer inspection. Brown ale with red highlights.

Pine hop notes through the nose, accented by molasses and, yes, brown sugar. Relatively subdued aroma for the big flavor.

Very sweet brew: caramelized sugar and molasses. It's quite hoppy, but that only manifests, flavor-wise, as some vinous pine notes. Develops nicely as it warms, without the sweetness becoming overpowering.

Lovely mouthfeel: silky and smooth. Almost no sting, but the beer is still lively and not at all syrupy. Slightly dry finish, with more alcohol presence as it dries.

You'd have no idea this beer clocked in at 10% ABV if you didn't read the bottle; it's unbelievably smooth. It works wonderfully as a night cap, or as a stronger brew during the day. Pairs well with food. It's a little strong as a lunch brew, but works excellently to relax after work.

This beer reminds me a lot - lot - of DFH Burton Baton (minus the oak). That's a very high compliment.

 1,132 characters

Photo of Wukk
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of TheCuriograph
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Tertullian007
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DerrickW
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Sarmartay
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of vidguy17
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of In_Control_Mike
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ipc2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jsf14
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of clay23
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of lic217
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of DMB
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of MattGrimley
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of AOShabaz
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BigStein88
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Hopinista
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,797 ratings