Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,551 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,551
Ratings:
5,535
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.25%
 
 
Wants:
296
Gots:
1,260
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,551 | Ratings: 5,535
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cool beer here, plenty unique. Brown color with reddish hues. Aroma of brown sugar, (duh) and not much else.

Hides alcohol with all that sweetness. Easy drinking, but watch out. Still gives a little hop prick to ya, even through out all that sweetness. Good stuff. Deceptively strong.

 291 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.49/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: ruby red color with white head
S: big sweetness and hops
T: hops, sweetness, and alcohol/medicine.
F: fairly thin and the medicine flavor lingers.

 150 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Great sweet sugar and hop combo. Somehow balances that, and dank and citrus, in a way that's sweet yet highly drinkable. Avoids the cake-like cloying trap other sweet DIPA's tend to employ. This stands on its own. Caramel, floral and citrus. Alcohol is hidden except for the peppery/ sweet after-bite. Sips quickly for a nearly 10% abv. brew. The only downfall is that I only took out a single to buy from the six pack I found at the market. What a value.

 455 characters

Photo of Antnego
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fun Fact: Let this one breathe a few minutes before sipping. The bouquet really opens up when you give it a chance.

This one pours with a deep, amber hue with a fizzy, thin head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is medium and sticky. Nose is a mix of piney, grapefruity hops with brown sugar/honeyed malts. Taste is sweet and citrusy up front, followed by notes of brown sugar, molasses and caramel. This is definitely a hop-forward beer, but not so much as Lagunitas' flagship beer. Mouthfeel is very sticky and resiney. Overall, this is superb, complex beer that gives you the best of both worlds - the sweetness of malt and brown sugar adjunct with the bite of an IPA.

 670 characters

Photo of NickandToni
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow.
L - Slightly Hazy burnt amber red, 1/2 inch head quickly vanishes leaving nice lace
S - Musty fruit, grass/pine and brown sugar
T - Full bodied hops, orange, slight bitterness. Followed by an earthy sweetness
F - Great upfront heaviness, firm mouthfeel as it spreads evenly, to a crisp sweet lingering goodbye
O - One of my favorite Lagunitas beers

Perfect for late fall/winter. The closest thing to an Old Fashion experience. Heavy alcohol, fruit, bitters, leaving you ready for another.

 495 characters

Photo of bonesTdog
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a really tasty brew that threatens to make a strong ale fan out of me. Grapefruit, malt and hops with a softening base of light roast and toffee. As others have said, the high alcohol is almost not even noticeable. It is not the most complex beer I have had, but the blend of flavors is very well balanced and the long finish calls you for another sip.

 362 characters

Photo of jhartley
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Julian dating 281 5 (October 8, 2015)
Pours a nice dark amber-red-brwon with a lot of off white head. My glass is full of lacing....ridiculous!
Getting a nice hoppy aroma, not what I was expecting, although I don't really know what I was expecting...Sour lemon and pine dominating.
Taste...Clean hops taste up front with pine and a citrus bite; maltiness comes in at the end to round that out and then leaves a nice bitterness behind on the palate.
Mouth feel is...well I guess medium. Not a hint of the 9.8% abv that's listed on the label. Honestly I had no idea it had that high of an abv, either.
Overall, I never really looked into it or had plans of buying it, so when I had to complete a mix-a-six I saw this on the shelf and grabbed one. I liked it, but not enough to really go and look for it again; just satisfied with it to have had it this one time. Reminds me of Arrogant Bastard a little, just not hoppy enough. This isn't a bad beer by any means; I won't be rating low, it's like I said I won't really be seeking this one out again.

 1,088 characters

Photo of bhyndthebottle
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Always a nice beer from Lagunitas. Taste follows the smell of rich caramel malts and citrus hops. Finish has a nice spicy kick that finishes rather clean and dry. Good n' hoppy!

 177 characters

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

Tasted in a Rastal Teku glass from a 12 oz bottle. Look is orange amber with an off-white head and sticky lacing. Smell is caramelized sugar, hop oil, apricot and pineapple notes. Taste is caramel, toasted bread, hop oil, spice and citrus flavors. Feel is chewy in body and smooth in the finish.

 299 characters

Photo of BWED
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into goblet

A- Nice clear copper. Light tan head is dense and retains at 1/4". Good lacing.

S- Booze sting. Brown sugar sweetness, earthy hop.

T- Sweet, and brown sugary. No wonder the name. Hop character comes up faintly in the taste.

M- Hop bitterness is up there, along with booze, but sweetness evens it all out. Great balance.

O- Booze forward, but surprisingly balanced. Depth isn't great, but at least the name rings true to its attributes.

 475 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look - Dark amber color, clear in appearance
Smell - brown sugar, caramel, dried apricots
Taste - Molasses, caramel, burnt brown sugar, candied orange, dried apricots
Feel - Sticky, dry, slightly warming

Overall - A little too sweet for my liking, but not a bad winter offering.

 281 characters

Photo of trentbent
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L- Looks great! Cream lace, moderate foam, amber orange brown sexy.
S/T/F-Smells and tastes like burnt brown sugar but it blends with the carbonation is oh just the right way that it's great even to this non-lover of "sweet" beers.
O- Is there even alcohol in this?! Oh, 9.8%, you will notice in your head before your mouth. This beer is a delight. Well done.

 360 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours dark amber nearly orange/brown with a thick white head.

smells like caramel and sweet hops. not overly strong aroma but still an aroma present.

taste is caramel malt and heavy hop. mostly dark heavy fruit hops, some pine as well. finishes dry and sweet. goes down very smooth, makes me wanna keep sipping!

overall this is a really good beer. easy to drink which is deadly for a beer that is essentially 10%. different than Lagunitas Sucks but still great. Lagunitas always hits on their big beers.

 507 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber brown orange. Smells of bitter orange rind, caramel and floral grassy hops. Tastes like orange, grapefruit, bitter hops and caramelized brown sugar. Medium body with mild carbonation. The alcohol is covered up pretty well. Overall a good, strong, bitter and hoppy ale.

 283 characters

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: crystal clear body bubbly head with just a slight off white color the body is a nice dark amber with ruby red edges

S: resiny floral hops with a little bit of burnt sugar

T: nice deep sweetness with a huge dose of burnt sugar and bitterness from the hops that come off more floral on the taste has some dates and figs taste with a little bit of cane sugar

M: lighter to slightly medium

O: nice sweet beer with a good dose of malts and hops this is this like arrogant bastard and a little like Old Stock Ale but smoother and has a little bit better taste. This beer lingers on the tongue and has such nice figs and toffee taste very easy to drink

 694 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Oct. 12, 2015

L- Deep amber, great clarity, one finger off white head.

S- Sweet dates and toffee, little bit of the alcohol coming through.

T- Similar to aroma, sweet dates, a bit of hops in there, light bitterness on the finish, a little warming on the tongue.

F- A thin syrup, good carbonation, pretty drinkable for the abv.

O- A very nice, not too sweet, malty beer that would go great with some winter weather, and a great price for a higher abv offering.

 475 characters

Photo of jahbless
2.87/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ok, if you like bitter hoppiness - which I gather most folk here do.
I prefer smoother tasting Belgians, so this one is not on my list to drink again.

 152 characters

Photo of SINKTIPS_N_SUDS
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I mean come on... It's lagunitas and hops. Of course it's gon be good, man! But it is fantastic. Big sweetness and big hops. Typically tropical as lagunitas does so well. Great body and mouthfeel. Damn good!

 207 characters

Photo of MartzMimic
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at McNellie's OKC. Pours a clear dark amber. The two fingers of creamy white head take a while to settle, leaving decent lacing. Smells of piney hops, caramel, brown sugar and malt. The taste is equally complex. Sugary caramel with just a touch of bitterness. Medium mouth that's pretty sticky. This is really nice, and everything blends together so well.

 362 characters

Photo of Benish
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: light copper with a very thick foamy head that dissipated slowly. Translucent with no sediment.

Smell: tons of tropical fruits with strong notes of grapefruit and orange citrus.

Taste: like a hoppy barley wine. Strong notes of grapefruit. Very resiny and especially sweet throughout. There's presence of pungent hop bitterness that compliments the malt. I wouldn't say this beer is complex but it sure is delicious.

Mouthfeel: full bodied and syrupy.

Overall: this is good stuff. I have not tried one thing from Lagunitas that was okay. Everything had been superb.

 584 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: A clear yet murky brown/amber, as barleywines are known to be. A half finger off-white head that settles rather quickly. Some lacing.

S: Cane sugar, molasses, pear, lemons and apricot.

T: Whoof! The sweetness overwhelms, but in a good way. I discovered later that this was a variant of Old Gnarlywine, which I had recently and loved. There's lots more brown sugar in this one with a depth and complexity that demands that it be sipped. Warm and inviting. Dark fruits slide in with an apricot dance. Sensual. Wraps itself around you and doesn't let go.

M: Medium to strong with medium carbonation. Thick and chewy.

O: A great fall beer with an ABV that packs a wallop. Lagunitas never fails.

 742 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small weizen glass.

L : Towering head with dense webs of lacing, caramel-honey colored body maybe 70% transparent. I'm just throwing in the towel and calling this a 5. It's an easy A+ for appearance.

S : Caramel, caramel malts, pine/cleaning agent, brown sugar, old wood, baked biscuit. A bit faint though.

T : Holy sweet and then alcohol! Super sweet beer, with notes of caramel, honey, butterscotch, and brown sugar. Behind that it's rubbing alcohol and spices. It ends slightly on oat bread, with some notes of sweet molasses.

F : Full bodied, sticky, and dense. Not creamy, but heavy. Semi-dry finish.

O : I'd have it again. Didn't know it was a 10% beer so I'm gonna cap this as I'm headed to work very soon. Nice work!

 746 characters

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber color.

Overall: This beer has a strong sweet aroma. It contains flavors of malts, sweetness, fruitiness, caramel and bitterness. This is a very good malty brown ale.

 200 characters

Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Nice 3 finger creamy head with lots of laving. Mild malt and grass aroma. Big malt flavor with hop bite. Too much for me. This beer has a bit of a heavy oily feel.

 185 characters

Photo of Coolcheech
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a wine glass.
This is the Brown Shugga' Sweat Release, OG: 1.100, ABV:9.8%, IBU: 51.1

A: A very clear amber, with short head. Carbonation bubbles lingered inside the glass.

S: Floral hoppiness in the bottle. After I poured it the smell became very neutral, with a mild hop aroma lingering.

T: It’s hoppy. It’s also got the sweetness, but not malty sweetness, more like a molasses … or brown … sugar.

M: This is a full body beer. There’s a coating of the mouth that is expected from a beer made with this much sugar . A little tingly on the tongue but no burn from the high ABV.

D: I’ve drank this beer plenty of times, and until now never analyzed it. It’s a good beer which I have always enjoyed, but until now, I never realized how quiet this beer was. Heavy, but quiet. It’s a hop forward beer, and the sugar gives it more body than sweetness.

 894 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,535 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe