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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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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:
5,539
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.25%
 
 
Wants:
295
Gots:
1,262
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,551 | Ratings: 5,539
Photo of buschbeer
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FLUID OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

It is rust colored with burnt orange highlights. It has a few inches of tan head topping it off.

It has a sweet alcohol smell. There is also a slight citrus aroma.

The taste is just like it smells. It starts out sweet. Then the alcohol comes into play. The finish is citrus.

The mouthfeel is medium.

It has been several years since I have had this beer. It is pretty darn good. I actually pretty much like all Lagunitas beers, but I typically buy Ohio and Michigan beers since I'm a homer.

 534 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thin tan head that quickly fades to a thin skim. Can be ressurected with a little swirling. Translucent chestnut color.

Smells of creme de cacoa,hazelnut, boozey black cherry dark fruit, carmelized brown sugar. Woody hop oil. I'm a fan.

Dark fruit (plum, grape, black cherry) fights with brown sugary hazelnut. A complex sipper. Boozey aftertaste: very hot.

I accidentally dumped a glass of this in my dresser drawer thereby turning it into a Brown Shugga sea with little sock and underwear islands. I'm hoping it comes out.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Delirium Noel Tulip. Aggressive pour yields a nice white foam head on light brownish red beer. The aroma is malty and sweet-smelling with some very light dark fruit notes. The taste starts with brown sugar (or is that just the name?!) leading into a sweet maltiness that coats the palette. A little bit of a spicy alcohol burn into the finish. Overall a very nice beer and different from any of Lagunitas's other offerings.

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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.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance&gt; What a BEAUTY. Lovely mahogany color with a big thick vanilla head. Lacing for days and amazing retention. Clear with low to medium liveliness. Gorgeous. I'm incredibly thirsty.

Smell&gt;hops to the maximum... and a smidge sweet.

Taste&gt; Hmmm... Don't get me wrong. This strong ale is really great in some points, but somethings just not quite right. There is just something between the midtaste hop punch, right after it gets this delicious brown sugar sweetening where it almost goes a little metallic before it moves to the nice mellow resin hang.

mouf&gt; easy, good, just right

Drinability&gt; in spite of the odd little i-don't-know-what... this is still a rather drinkable beer

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Amber hued with a slight reddish tint. Minimal thin layer of minuscule white foam on top. Nice Brussels lacing. Oddly I sniff and sniff but I don't get a ton of aroma. I know there's some brown sugar and maybe that's what has eliminated most of the smell? Taste is initially sweet,but generous hopping gives it a nice bitterness and then a sweetness returns in the fade. Mouthfeel seems a bit carbonated and that bitterness pricks the tongue.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 542 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a copperish amber color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains quite well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and soft, sporadic layers of surface foam. Sudsy, thin streaks of lacing.

S- Bright, citrusy hop aroma with an apparent alcohol fume. Sweet-smelling and somewhat toasty malt in the back. Raunchy, strong.

T- Sharp, citric hop flavor sinks its teeth in immediately and is accompanied by fervent alcohol. Brown sugary sweetness is found throughout and doesn't seem to fully mesh with the rest of the tastes. After a few sips, the palate becomes less confused but there's still that lingering alcohol and hop bite that drives the drink but has no real direction amid the near-cloying caramel sweetness.

M- Stinging and hot with medium carbonation and a full-ish body. Somewhat syrupy.

O- I'm so conflicted with this beer. It tastes good but it's so extremely sweet and intensely hoppy that I can only have one and then I want something else. Not bad for what it is...but what is it?

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Photo of Fenris244
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with an off white 1 finger head, decent retention, carbonation looks thin.

really fruity, grapes and raisins come through well, which is weird because the first time i had this beer it smelled totally different. Some brown sugar notes as well as almost a short bread like aroma tucked away behind everything else.

Way different from the first one i had in flavors as well... Fruity in flavor grapes and cherry coming through well, hops are surprisingly strong and balance out the sweetness from the fruit flavors well. Shortbread like malty finish and the bitterness last for a while after the sip. The alcohol tries to hide but after the 4th or 5th sip the warming lets you know it there.

Heavier in body but keeps from being syrupy, the light carbonation is just enough to give it a lighter feel on the palate.

Tasty, different and pretty drinkable, i couldnt finish a six pack in a night or anything but i could definitely have a few.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being called Brown Shugga this surprised me with the hoppiness.

A- Deep bronze mahogany with a creamy 2 finger head and leaves nice thick rings.

S- Fresh hops and pine up front followed with a toasted malt. Hints of vanilla and grapefruit.

T- Pine and hops up front with a tart grapefruit followed with a sweet malt taste of toffee and caramel. Brown sugar is detected but not dominate as would be expected from the name. The sweetness is all in the aftertaste, though the hops lingers as well. Hints of ginger.

M- Clean....creamy but with a hops and alcohol bite in the moderate level. Nice filmy, sugary feel after. Semi-dry finish. Complex aftertaste.

D- High on alcohol interrupts the complexity a bit. The hops cuts through the flavor profile, however the hops is a nice flavor. Very sweet in the aftertaste. A sipper for sure.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear coppery chestnut color, creamy off-white head, good retention and lacing. Smell is sweet carmel, brown sugar, lightly roasted nuts with a touch of dark fruit and yeast on the nose. Bold sweet carmel and brown sugar flavors with a more pronounced and bitter hop presence then the smell let on. Touches of fruit and yeast on the finish. Full bodied, heavy on the tounge, like melted carmel itself, fairly pronounced sweet and bitter aftertastes. Good beer, stops short of being cloying, but would be hard to have more than one.

 531 characters

Photo of Danny1217
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice red brown color with some thick tan foam at the top. Lots of nice lacing.
Strong hop aroma balanced by the sweet scents of caramel and yes, brown sugar.
Very thick and creamy, almost overpowering. Very bitter, but sweet at the same time. Caramel sweetness and citric bitterness. Some slight alcohol warmth. Dry finish. Powerful brew.

Brown Shugga' is an over the top beer with lots of hop bitterness as well as malty sweetness and about 10% alcohol. It manages to be balanced with all its extremities and the result is delicious.

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Photo of beergod1
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy brown-amber pour with a thin and foamy off-white head. Thin spotty lacing as well. The aroma is hoppy with sweet dark fruit and molasses coming through more as it warms. The labeling on this one really threw me off as I was expecting more of a sweet brown ale. Once my taste buds told me it was actually a Barley Wine I was able to accept the flavor. Very hoppy on the front end, along with some alcohol burn. The flavor mellows a bit as sweet malt start to seep in. The finish is round and fruity with an alcohol burn leftover. Above average, and kind of unique.

 568 characters

Photo of fosterific
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great pour...perhaps it is part the beer too! It has a rosy color with a full head, citrus hop smell is the first thing you catch a whiff of. I was expecting this to smell like booze, but that is well balanced or well hidden. The beer is sticky and think in the mouth but the bitter citrus of the hops makes it a seem fresh.
I was very impressed, even delighted at how drinkable this strong ale was, I would probably drink more than I should if the ABV was not on the side of the bottle.

I also heard that this was a failed barley wine...not positive, but plausible.

 579 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Darker coppery color with burnt sienna hues. Cream colored head holds fast at a quarter inch. A thin broken ring and spotty dots comprise the lacing.

S: Melon and mandarin orange, hints of dank bud, light pine, and sugary ruby red grapefruit. Sweet and substantial malt base of brown bread, caramel, crust, brown cocoa, and brown sugar.

T: Mandarin orange and melon start things off. Some more aggressive hop flavors of pine, resin, and dank weed follow quickly. Heavily toasted crust and brown bread. Dark caramel. Nutty cocoa and brown sugar. Spike of alcohol and hints of tropical ester. Bready and crusty finish with a lingering boozy taste.

M: Medium-thick body. Round, creamy, and chewy. Low scrubbing carbonation. Numbing alcohol.

O: Not bad stuff. Some more aggressive flavors at work in this beer than are found in any other Lagunitas offering. At 9.9% abv this beer means business, and it tastes like it means business too. It's the brawler of the Lagunitas portfolio. Still fun and fairly easy to drink despite its size.

 1,079 characters

Photo of TheMistler
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly clear brown, dark amber in color. Displays some effervescence. Off-white, millet-y, pufft head that displays good retention and leaves a very nice, nearly-solid wall of lace.

The nose was hoppier than expected, with some pine and earthy notes intermingling with some sweet, slightly bready maple and brown sugar.

Malty taste up front, nothing overwhelming, then hops. Caramel, sweet bread, undercurrent of grapefruit and a hint of pine. The taste tends more towards malt than the nose (to me) indicated, but very well balanced.

Slight alcohol warming, and an even slighter alcohol spice and antiseptic quality. I simply cannot believe this beer is 9.9% ABV. Exceptionally well hidden.

A medium to slightly thick brew with some resiny slipperiness. Creamy, but the alcohol and solid carbonation give it a crisp bite. Dangerously drinkable, although it can - probably thankfully, given the ABV - settle heavily enough to curtail any over-indulgence.

 958 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this ale courtesy of shertz, poured chilled into my Great lakes christmas glass.

A - Garnet w/ a good deal of clarity. A thick rocky beige head. The lace is quick to collect and has a fine bead.

S - Like a pine cone with a very sap filled odor-lots of resinous hops. The scent has subtle golden delicious notes w/ a hint of tropical fruits, potent nectar.

The texture is smooth w/ an intense sweetness and full but balanced carbonation w/ the hops acidity trailing.the feel is like candy with a hop filled center. The sweetness lingers long after the ale has been swallowed.

T - almost like a sugar cookie w/ a subtle molasses and brisk balanced hoppy pine flavor which is angular jutting out of the crystal malt and a relatively strong alcohol note parallels this taste. The brown sugar gives the taste an intense caramel flavor like candy corn with a hop bitterness, it is both flavorful and balanced for a strong ale which not an ordinary trait.

D - A great ale- I enjoy it immensely, it was a pleasant nightcap for me. I could possibly handle a couple or a bomber but on this night one was plenty which is my reasoning for only above average here. This is not a boring beer - Brown Shugga: "how come you taste so good?"

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Photo of ndillon45
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

You can read this beer by it's cover. Pours deep brown, caramel color with a lot of 'stuff' going on inside. Disappointingly thin head, not a whole lot of lacing going on. Aroma let's you know what you're in for, a whole lot of sweetness. Once you adjust, this one is really delicious if you have a sweet tooth. Feels good in the mouth, but not a beer I'd buy for a length session.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with me by clvand0. Thanks to him for that.

The beer poured a golden amber color with one finger of head that sticks around well after the pour. The nose was sweet caramel, not quite as deep as I want. Fairly one dimensional. The flavor had more hop than the nose would tell. The flavor was too sugary for me. The feel was too thin for a barleywine. I want at least a heafty moderate feel on this style. Overall, not a bad beer, but too sugary and not thick enough for me.

 483 characters

Photo of Jekyll
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Unique beer. Wasn't expecting the amount of hops that came with it. Poured dark copper with a couple inches of head that stayed with me pretty much the entire time. Can't quite pinpoint the smell... Not please to but not repugnant either. Don't taste brown sugar though maybe cause of the amount if hops in it though it does have a sweetness mixed with the hops that makes it quite enjoyable. Alcohol will sneak up on you as it is barely noticeable. Gonna age a few of these and see how they develop.

 500 characters

Photo of seanbhudson
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE:
Pours a hazy amber/copper color with a large off-white head that dissipates at an average rate. Some lacing.
SMELL:
Molasses, brown sugar and alcohol.
TASTE:
Sweet malt with a molasses flavor and hint of vanilla. There is a nice earthy bitter finish to balance it.
MOUTHFEEL:
Full bodied with a syrupy texture. Soft carbonation. Slight alcohol burn to finish.
DRINKABILITY:
At first I thought this would be too sweet but it is surprisingly smooth and the bitter finish balances it out.
NOTES: BBCSD-0812

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Photo of jdense
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage cellared bottle, poured during Twelve Beers of Christmas tasting 12/22/09.

Dark brown body, 3/4 finger tan head, nice lacing. Huge sweetness in the nose which masks the hops. Taste is sweet, with some roasted malts present, a bit too syrupy for me. Not the most drinkable of beers at this ABV and sweetness, though I must note two years of cellaring mellowed out the alcohol quite a bit. A definite late night sipper. Not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Appearance: Poured a dark red amber, with a khaki colored head. Minimal head rentention. Very clear.

Smell: Smells of damp sticky hope, very sweet and of grapes or raisins. Almost syrupy in fragrance. You can almost smell the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and dark. Malty and a little hoppy, but not overwhelming. Taste sticks around for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer and minimally carbonated. Feels "slick".

Drinkability: A medium bodied beer, with a sweet and heavy feel. It's a little syrupy and the booze may be limiting to drinking a lot. A good one to try though.

 587 characters

Photo of BeerWhale
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours thick and caramel colored with a white head, and a strange aroma.

You can tell the increased sugar content by the sweetness on the front end of this creamy beer. The brown sugar adds a thick and smooth quality to the beer as is coats your mouth. It sits well on the tongue and the hops add a cutting, refreshing quality to the beer. After drinking your mouth feels relatively clean, when compared to something like a stout.

Overall a quality offering that has a well rounded taste and mouthfeel. Either as an introduction to craft beers or an evening session beverage, this offering is a very good example of quality craft brewing.

 648 characters

Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 12-oz bottle.

Fell in love with this beer when i saw the name of it. Very cool. Of all the x'mas ale labels, this is one of the more appealing ones. Nothing is more ugly than Pizza Port's Santa's Little Helper label. Anyway, to the beer.

Head: About 3/4" thick. Nice, stayed up for quite a long time.

A: caramel color.

S: A nice subtle tone of apricots, which I think smell great in beer. Gets the tongue ready for a deep-tasting ale.

T: A deliberate taste of brown sugar and slight undertone of honey or molasses. Maybe more on the molasses side since it's dark/bitter.

M: Very nice and smooth.

D: This one is much easier to drink than strong-flavored beers like Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice (2007). But I think the heavy molasses taste will make this less appealing to drink through the night.

Good beer overall, would definitely buy another 6er.

 868 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,539 ratings.
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