Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,570 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,570 | Ratings: 5,590
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.

 338 characters

Photo of imstimpy
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours a redish cider color with a decent and persistent head.
Smell: It smells sweet! Apples and other subtle fruit.
Taste: 9.8%!? It tastes full of hoppy nectar. It is sweet, but delicately so, balanced with malt.
Feel: It is deceivingly thick with a long aftertaste.

Overall, it is a good beer. I'm a little concerned the sweetness will get old but the first half glass went down easily.

 399 characters

Photo of Jeffsta1
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty red color, tall, persistent head.

Mild smell, clean, hoppy.

Intense taste - bitter hops, some sweetness - burnt peaches.

Mouthfeel is very rich.

Finish is >>super<< long, intense, well integrated with the beer.

 226 characters

Photo of SmashAdams
2.75/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was a bit disappointed by this beer. The smell is alcohol, brown sugar, some spicy Lagunitas style hops. The taste is sweet and strong. I prefer Undercover Shutdown. nb

 170 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear dark amber color with a 2 finger off white head. The retention is very good and lasts all the way through. There are also huge sheets of lacing. The smell is brown sugar and sweet caramel malts with a hint of grapefruit and pine. Taste is the same, but also getting some orange and a touch of alcohol. Feel is light side of medium, but suprisingly light for the abv. Overall this beer is fantastic and a winter seasonal that I patiently wait all year for.

 497 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle. Beautiful dark brown with creamy head and great lacing. Pleasant pungent smell. Great hoppy sweetness with the right amount of bitterness. A very enjoyable beer.

 198 characters

Photo of RozzieBoy
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First review here. So here goes:
Look: Very nice head with great lacing all the way to the last sip
Smell: Smells a lot like a Lagunitas beer, and that is a good thing (to me at least)
Taste: Different than most I've had but tasty. Good hop snap to it
Feel : Pretty smooth is the best way I can explain this
Overall: Wow. Really like this beer. So impressed with the drinkability at this abv

 396 characters

Photo of Ernie_The_Dude
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours nice into a tulip glass, nice color with a substantial head. I am sure there are more descript ratings of this beer then mine but, I can say that Lagunitas has contently put out great beer and never disappointed.

 218 characters

Photo of do_ob
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours a dark, hazy gold and settles a very clear, yet dense amber in the glass. Beautiful 2 finger head of sticky, off-white foam on top. The nose is very sweet - strong notes of, get this, brown sugar along with caramel, toasted malt, and some sweet fruit (peaches maybe). The taste follows fairly precisely bringing lots of caramel and sugary sweetness to the taste buds. Again, there are notes of fruit - banana, peach - that are good, but don't mesh perfectly with the other stuff this beer has going on. Very hoppy, also, to the point where this reminds me of an old IIPA. Luckily the other flavors mingle enough to make it taste pretty good. Expectedly dense on the palate, almost syrupy. No alcohol burn at all. It's actually quite creamy and smooth.

Overall, interesting but good. This one would definitely benefit from a few months in the cellar, unless you like your strong ales and barleywines overly hoppy, which I do not. Not bad, though.

 987 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber color from bottle into pint glass.

Very sweet scent but not your typical heavy malt presence. Im sure there is a boat load of malt, but I smell candy up front instead. Caramel. Some fruitiness too, maybe mangos or apricot.

Tastes nowhere near 9.8%. Hoppy, sweet. Great balance but the sweetness nudges its way up front a bit.

I wish i bought more than just a single bottle.

 407 characters

Photo of OKbrew89
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a hazy light brown color with a two finger head that leaves a small ring of lacing at the top of the glass. Aroma of alcohol and caramel malts, with the alcohol being the dominant smell. Taste is caramel, brown sugar, and a slight nuttiness before an acidic, boozy finish. Medium body and medium carbonation with a very boozy finish and minimal alcohol aftertaste. Kinda shocks the tongue.
The taste isn't over-run with alcohol and the alcohol is actually decently hidden until the after taste. Nice sweet body to make it very drinkable. Body is a little light, but still doesn't feel too off. Another solid one from Lagunitas.

 649 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
4.86/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lagunitas Brown Sugga

Due to Lagunitas constantly putting out great beer ( for the most part ) I wanted this one for quite some time. Seeing as this is the brew Sucks replaced, I shall hold it to the same standard in terms of my ratings. Finally at long last found a sixer for $11.99 at my local shop. Drank one, and I'll review on the second one. Passed up Blackout Stout for this guy, let's hope it was worth it. Enough talk, let's crack this fucker.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear amber with a monster moderately off white head that sticks around forever and a half leaving immediate stick as it slowly dies down to a large frothy canyon amongst the top of the drink. The carbonation appears to be very low on this brew. Lacing is extraordinarily attractive after the brew is finished and leaves a nice sticky ladder to the depthsof the promised land of hell.

Smell - The nose starts of pungent with a large smack in the face of bitter fruit juices and brown sugar. There is an ever presence of alcohol as expected for 9.8% but it is nice and fits the beer very well. Doesn't smell like a high abv stout or what have you, much cleaner without any specific alcoholic beverage to match it up to. Caramel maltyness as well.

Taste - The flavor profile starts off with a smorgasbord of that big bitter fruit juicyness I mentioned in the smell. The brown sugar and malty goodness are as prevent as you would think and the two meld perfectly and turn just a touch spicy on the tail end. Alcohol has a bit of a showing at the tail end as well though it is very tame for the beer being nearly ten fucking percent. The fruits I'm picking up are pineapple dominant with a touch of grapefruit and mango.

Feel - The feel on this one can vary considerably depending on the temperature of the beer as I've noticed. Drink this one on the warm side for full effect. Body is thin to full,again, depending on the temperature. Since the head has settles down to a thick frothy cap after half an hour the brew is very creamy. A nice spicyness in the mouth and all the flavors mentioned in the nose remain. A bit of an alcohol bite but it is so pleasant and fittingly so that you'll wanna smack your wife.

Overall - Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. This one was well worth the wait. A perfect unison of malt and hop. Too fucking easy to drink at just barely shy of 10%. Flavors come together as best they can for the abv and they are just...damn bruh. Lagunitas really did it with this beer. One of the best strong IPAs I have ever come across. Of you are a DIPA fan and you see this, buy it. All. It reminded me of the undercover shutdown ale they put out, only with better hoppyness and better balance. Truly a masterpiece. End review..

 2,761 characters

Photo of OldManMetal
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer: deep amber in color, crystal-clear and sparkling, with a lasting giant pebbly off-white head; lacing consists of goodly, IPA-like rafts and ladders. The nose is a big, enticing blend of cotton candy, juicy pineapple and sweet/spicy florals over a more subdued grassy pine backdrop; significant boozy overtones round it out nicely. Up front, the palate is bitter pineapple and citrus with piney highlights; mid-palate the sweet/spicy characteristics emerge and bring the flavor into alignment with the aroma, and assertive boozy undertones fulfill the aroma's promise. A very nice sweetish, light-caramel malt backbone is on prominent display; this is ultimately a hop-forward beer, but the malt presence is considerable. The finish is caramel malt and pine, followed by the onset of a moderately bitter grassy pine flavor that lingers for a few minutes. Retrogustative olfaction is decidedly grassy. Mouthfeel is on point for the medium body, and the texture is creamy with a perfect slight pepperiness from the modestly-expressed fizzy carbonation. This is a very smooth drinker for the ABV, and damned tasty to boot. (12 oz bottle, no code date)

 1,173 characters

Photo of rjd722
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: On tap, nice amber-brown color, small head but solid lacing.

Aroma: Malt forward with some sweetness, slightly boozy.

Taste: Flavor matches the expectations set by the aroma, Malt City.

Feel: Very smooth, medium carbonation with a malty bitterness coating your mouth.

 278 characters

Photo of devo1980
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For me, just not a fan. Has a very strong flavor that is unique to any beer I have had before. I can see why some folks would love this. It has a very interesting aftertaste that is sort of sweet, but overall I would not buy this again.

 238 characters

Photo of Marraybay
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Amber red, two fingers of foam.

Smell: Musty citrus, fruity sweetness

Taste: Very Hop forward beer, but with enough early sweetness to successfully
prevent a runaway hop freight train. (Nice)

Feel: Full, nicely carbonated, a bit astringent.

Overall: Really becoming a fan of hoppy beers, but only those that approach the
overall experience in this same manner: (DFH 90 Minute another that does this well.)

 418 characters

Photo of CTbrew32
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance- Dark red/copper in color. Pours a slightly tan colored two inch head. Head recedes slowly with a good amount of lacing left behind.

aroma- Very sweet with toffee, pine, and orange candy being most notable.

taste- Lots of caramel and brown sugar sweetness at first followed by a little bit of pine hop flavor and bitterness. That orange candy sweetness definitely shows up towards he finish along with a little bit of lingering pine flavor/bitterness and caramel sweetness.

feel- Full bodied, medium carbonation, a little sticky first but surprisingly clean in the finish.

overall- Great strong ale that maintains just enough balance despite all the sweetness. Kind of reminds me of SN celebration if the malt bill was doubled. Definitely a good winter time pickup.

 787 characters

Photo of jwhancher
2.91/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks great: clear Amber color with massive frothy head that seems to never fade. Smells like burnt plastic, or maybe like after you've run an old school vacuum cleaner too long and the rubber puller started to get hot. As it warms, I do get some light dried apricot but the rubbery plastic is still there. Tastes sweet with carmelized brown sugar, almost syrup or molasses like. Finished a little dry but then the carmelized brown sugar lingers into the finish. Think some of the burnt plastic character carries into the finish also. I get no hops. Feels full with a touch of some warming alcohols, but not hot. Overall, if the strange off note wasn't there I think I could dig. Otherwise, this one is a strange curiosity.

 724 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A beer that is as good as advertised. It is sweet without becoming cloying and still has just enough bitterness to burst through the brown cane sugar. And you can't really tell that its borderline 10% ABV.

 205 characters

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

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

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,590 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.