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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,758 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:
#3,024
Reviews:
1,612
Ratings:
5,758
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
301
Gots:
1,376
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,758 |  Reviews: 1,612
Photo of freed
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was supposed to be a Barleywine, but it turned out wrong? I believe the story because I believe some of the greatest things are mistakes. Like Post-it notes.

The amber color is great. A noble dark red. The head retention is great, and the aroma, as you lift the pint to you face, it very inviting. A sweet and suble hop aroma. Tasting it is a wonderful celebration in maltiness. After all, beer hasn't always included hops. The strong malt body is very satisfying. This beer, sold in 22oz bottles, is the perfect beer as for a session. Its sweet and spicy, and seems like it might compliment german food and maybe thai food, though the thai food may wrangle with the beer for spicyness.

If you're lucky enough to find this, or any Lagunita's beer, grab it.

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

Pours amber with just a hint of cloudiness. The nose is of very strong hops is the most enjoyable part of this beer. It just smells good. This has a heavy mouthfeel with a barley wine like taste that is average. There is a slight taste of the brown sugar used in it too. There is also a strong alcohol flavor that shows up towards the end of this beer. The flavor also finishes up too bitter.

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Photo of marc77
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy ruby hue, topped by an off white, thick, creamy well retained head. Mellow, mint laced citrusy hop nose with a dominant note of underripe tangerine. Medium caramel malt aroma with hints of biscuit and butter. Mellow impression of berryish fruitiness rounds the aroma out. Baked biscuit mild sweetness is perceived at first, then is ensued by a pronounced, almost syrupy well caramelized sugar note, which persists throughout. Hop bitterness provides meager contrast, leaving the overall flavor profile quite sweet. Hop flavor manages to eek in, lending a brown sugar smothered grapefruit impression mid palate. A bit lightly bodied, and a touch over attenuated, yet residual sweetness remains assertive. Finishes with a lingering suggestion of warming butterscotch schnapps. Brown Shugga is quite an odd brew. The sweetness is only a hair shy of cloying, and seemingly overshadowed malt nuances. That being said, the sheer uniqueness and dearth of alcohol character (until the finish) warrant a try. With a greater hop presence this could be a fine barleywine. It's quite tasty, nonetheless. This would make a delicious, supremely calorically dense vanilla ice cream float. Thanks to TXhops for sending the bomber.

 1,228 characters

Photo of Jordan
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Simple, the word of the day. Faint, almost undetectable sweet aromas. Light bodied. Very plain palate consisting of little more than clover honey sweetness that dissolves into a brash hop bitterness soon after it hits the tongue. For those with undeveloped taste buds, and a liking for high ABV brews, this one is for you. Unsophisticated and unprovocative, the mode most people in this country prefer.

Sorry Lagunitas, but you are quickly losing merit with me.

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Photo of TXHops
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

9.9% ABV

Brown Shugga is Lagunitas' failed attempt at brewing Gnarleywine back in 1998. See, I can read the label... Apparently they dumped in a bunch of brown sugar to rectify some awful situation and the result was good enough to be bottled. Fair enough--at least they were honest with us...

Brown Shugga is deep, deep amber--like unfiltered clover honey. The 1" eggshell colored head couldn't support itself and after 2-3 minutes became about a sixteenth of its former self. However, it did last, and the bubbles were tiny. The remaining, thin head was cratered by little streamers of bubbles from below, creating a nice, uneven affect.

The aroma, while sweet and faintly alcoholic, was mostly hoppy--American hops it appears, though all three aromas are subdued more than I would have expected in a hopped up barleywine--extended aging? Actually, the restraint is kinda interesting--it allows for some complexity in the aroma--not all malt, not all citrus. Maybe I'm being suggestible, but I fancy I can smell the brown sugar a little too...

The flavor is a little different. It's thin. I don't just mean the mouthfeel, I mean the flavor, which is quite pronounced at first, seems to leave my mouth searching for it after a few seconds (though it’s far from dry). When the beer first hits my tongue, I can taste the gravity of the non-attenuated sugars quite clearly. It's clear by the esters and the heat moving around inside my mouth after each sip that there's more than just malt to attenuate. The use of non-malt sugar leaves its mark distinctly. A winey, slightly cidery flavor is present in each sip, though not at all overwhelming. The hops have a characteristic "burned" quality that I frequently picked up in highly hopped, higher alcohol beers. I've frequently contemplated why this flavor seems to exist in some beers and not others. Fullers ESB has it, so it's not just American hops, nor is it only hyper-hoppy imperials. In fact, the super hoppy stuff seems to taste more sticky than burned typically. Enough digression...

I found the beer enjoyable, though not great. No particular aspect of its character makes it stand out. Actually, I REALLY like the fact that I can get a bomber of 9.9% beer for less than $3, but price aside, this beer is unexceptional, though by no means bad. The slight cidery taste and the lack of distinction in malt flavor or in hoppiness leaves this beer truly average across the board.

 2,477 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Crytsal-clear and a rich copper in color, with a mountainous off-white head and decent lacing. The aroma is quite appealing as the brown sugar sweetness blends almost imperceptibly with a blend of citric and lightly floral hops. Mild fusel alcohol aromas develop as the beer warms. The flavor begins malty with some light, fruity notes, followed by an almost granular sugary flavor and some mild alcohol warming. The finish is dominating by a biting hop presence, but one which stings only for a second and merges gracefully in to a very well-balanced sugary sweet and somewhat spicy aftertaste. Medium-full body and rather like a mild barley wine in character. A very well-crafted (even if accidentally!) and drinkable beer.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a thick hazy amber color with very little foam and had not lace. The smell was of a citrus nature with a hoppy/malty aroma. The taste was of bitter hops and could not find any trace of brown sugar at all. It was thick and brown, but the bitterness over powered the sweetness. To me, this was not a well balanced or complex beer.

 335 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour an obscure amber color, the head is exorbitant in size, the consistency frothy with enormous sticky sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Also must say, the sediment is suspended much as the definition of obscure states. Nose is malt, floral, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, a “Top Notch Sniffer” for the old proboscis. Front is malt and thickly sweet, the top full-bodied, the finish is medial on the carbonation, medicinal in its hop spicy bite, dry, alcohol bitter aftertaste “OOOHAAAAA”, how I love these “Bad Boys”.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,758 ratings
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