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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,517 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,517
Ratings:
5,391
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.25%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
1,175
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 5,391
Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle into my Samuel Smith pint glass. Purchased at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio this week.

A nice looking 1 cm head which dissipates within a minute to a ring around the top of the beer. Body is medium brown/ruby.

S Love this smell! Sweet brown sugar and I am sure malt with a hoppy presence that I did not expect. Really inviting.

T Hops up front but this has a strong sweet malt presence. Brown sugar in the aftertaste is a welcome part of this beer. I must say that after repeated sips it is a bit odd, this pairing of hops and brown sugar. It is nothing if not interesting and thought provoking.

M Perhaps one of the fullest beers that I have tasted with huge brown sugar, hops tastes and a stickiness that you nearly have to chew through. Don't get me wrong, I love the mouthfeel and I think that it is appropriate to the style/what they were going for.

D Quite good for 9.9% ABV beer. The sweetness combined with the hoppy presence (label says 51.1 IBU) is brilliant.

Notes: Everyone must try this beer!

 1,062 characters

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

This beer pours a deep amber, with a good-sized, foamy head. Initially, its smell was much more prominent, almost floral. You can smell the brown shugga' in there.

Nice and malty tasting, but not unbalanced. This beer's hoppy, but the hops aren't the main attraction. It's the molasses!

This label declares this ale to be an experiment. As far as I can tell, the data shows that this beer rocks.

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

12oz bottle into an American pint...

A- dark amber, thin head with oily bubbles, abundant carbonation, very nice lacing

S- hops first, slight nail polish, biscuit

T- sweet, fruity hops...sugar...almost has a woody taste. Great!

M- sticky, carbonation is great at this abv!

O- love this stuff! I think the wait made it better too! This a great Strong Ale, worth the money, very drinkable...

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Photo of cjgator3
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish red color with an off-white head. The aroma is a lot of sweet malt and piney hops. The taste much like the aroma features a good dose of malt followed by a nice hoppy finish. There is a good dose of hops in the taste, but there is a sufficient amount of malt to make this a well balanced brew. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. The drinkability is pretty high considering it's high ABV, the full malt and hop flavors mask the alcohol pretty well. Overall, this is a very good beer that is recommended.

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Photo of boogyman
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very clear amber color with a thin head that dissipates leaving some bubbles to gaze at. Bubbles coming up from the bottom is cool too. After a few gulps, the lacing shows itself as being quite decent and sticky.

S- Smells pretty sweet and you can tell of the brown sugar to come. Also some dark fruits in there that promise this beer to be pretty tasty.

T- Oh man what a awesome burst of tastes. Starts with some dark fruits and some brown sugar and then a bit of hops and a bitter bite. Boozyness comes on and is not too strong but very warming going down.

M- Very smooth! Its quite nice going down. Even though there is a noticeable boozyness to this brew, it doesn't have any burn going down.

D- Easily able to consume a 12oz bottle and I wouldn't have an issue putting down a 22oz bomber or even 2 or 3 12oz bottles. I can see this going pretty good with the upcoming thanksgiving dinner.

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

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright amber-red clear colored beer with plenty of small bubbles slowly moving up through the beer. Dense light tan 1/8" persistent foam with sheets and strands of lacing all over the place. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Very hoppy. Pine and floral hops dominate, but there is some hint of mango and grapefruit.

Taste: The nickname of "Sweet Release" fits with this beer nicely. The pine and floral hops start off, but then quickly merge into a sweet malt profile with a definite brown sugar flavor to it. This sweetness is released, but then ends with a tart bitter hop finish. It's a sharp finish, but not a lingering one. The alcohol is not at all present, despite the higher ABV. I've had beers with lower ABV where the alcohol was more obvious. Really an impressive beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation on the tongue - just on the right side of spicy. Just right level of thickness - smooth and slick but there is some lingering film and sensation on the teeth.

Drinkability: With an ABV this high, this is a sipping and savoring beer for me, but it did go well with a roast beef burrito for dinner. While I can feel the alcohol a bit about halfway down the glass, this beer is so smooth and tasty I could see myself fooled into another one if I didn't know it was this high of an ABV content. A dangerously drinkable beer.

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

A: Lovely rich copper color, excellent clarity with a very long lasting off-white head. Beautiful beer.

S: Fruity & floral resinous hops, a very nice clean malt profile. Very sweet perfume.

T: Nice sweet sticky malts at first without any offensive nuttiness. The second half is an absolute onslaught of resinous hop flavor. Huge and beautiful, frighteningly drinkable. Bitterness feels restrained.

M: I can't believe this beer is 10% abv. Full bodied but easy to drink, massive hop aroma with signature lagunitas malt flavor. A delicious and awesome beer.

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

My pour was a little... aggressive and I wound up with 2 and 1/2 fingers of frothy light yellow/tan head. Body is a deep copper color, with a large amount of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom. Some good lacing noted.

Pine and a citrus bouquet immediately greet the nose. Digging deeper we find some caramel notes and hints of dark fruit.

Caramel and brown sugar play in between heavy resinous pine and juicy mixed citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied. It is a little on the sticky side, but makes your whole mouth feel dry after it has gone down.

 566 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.

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

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a beautiful ruddy copper/amber tone with a good degree of clarity to it, maybe a finger of beige head lacking much retention, lapsing into a thin collar; nice lacing.

aromatic nose replete with hops (citrus, some pine) and a notable caramel malt presence, subtle brown sugar notes. the hop characters lead the way in the flavor, with the malt and brown sugar sweetness opening up more mid-palate and then hops and some alcohol present in the finish. pretty damn tasty. sort of a crossbreed between a DIPA and a barleywine.

full/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. for a beer approaching 10% ABV this drinks pretty well.

originally reviewed: 10-31-2010

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

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a glowing deep copper in color, almost clear. Forms a one finger white head over the top of a good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malts, roasted caramel, and some pine hop bitterness. Overall a little boozy on the nose.

T: Sweet caramel, some fruitiness, brown sugar, and sweet roasted malt. A bit boozy, although this is balanced with pine & citrus pith hops on the tongue.

M: Medium to slightly heavy body. Alcohol heat is certainly present. A bit lower carbonation sensation than I would prefer.

O: A good winter beer. I enjoyed this very much. Recommended.

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Photo of JamesS
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich dark copper with good head, little lacing, and a lot of sediment. Very ruch and malty scent, extremely sweet. A wonderful taste, very reminiscent of a scotch ale/wee heavy without the peat. It's fantastically smooth for a 9.9% ABV beer. A wonderful brew.

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

Damn, seems I missed out by one on being the 1000th review of this beer. Purchased in San Francisco, and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a lovely burnished copper-red hue, surprisingly bright and clear, with a full and solid head of beige foam. Looks gorgeous. Lacing is a little reticent to appear, but otherwise, it looks gorgeous.

Nose is also very special, with a pungent citric crispness blended beautifully on top of a pineapple sweetness. Lashings of pepper and spice add exclamation points. Very nice.

Taste is also extremely good, giving a lovely crisp fruit entry that quickly descends into the "sweet release" promised on the label. Loads of sticky toffee, barley sugar and caramel, that is allways just leavened and supported by enough hops to ensure it doesn't get sickly. It's quite exceptional, and exceptionally good. The lingering, slightly fruity, but toffee-sweet aftertaste is delectable. Mmm, I want more.

Feel is a little light, but this also probably assists in keeping it from heavy, brutish sweetness.

A lovely brew from Lagunitas, and a truly American-styled one—the hops, the body, the sweetness all blending together into a raucous, opinionated and brash whole. Hell yeah.

 1,239 characters

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

Update. 2015 version. Seems way off. Overly sweet and hops are nearly non existent. Still really good, but not what I remember this to be.

Pours deep orange with great clarity. Thick frothy head that stays atop the brew the whole time. Certainly not what I was expecting for "brown shugga" but I'm liking it.

Earthy hops and some alcohol in there. Not picking up any malts as I was expecting. Again duped by the name of this one

Hops definitely but now I get the title of this one a little bit. Neither the burnt caramel maltiness or citrus hops overpower one another. Really, really goes nice together. I'm usually looking for hops, hops, and more hops but I'm pleasantly enjoying this one. Was really fooled in many ways with this beer but in no way disappointed. Really no detection of the 9.99% in this one. Scary. Haven't had Sucks yet and looking forward to it if it's the "substitute" for this one.

Again, seemingly perfect carbonation for the combo of these hops and malts. Feels like a cascade of toasted sugar on the back of the palate with tanginess on the tongue.

Have had a few of beers from these guys and liked all of them but never blown away by any of them. This one almost gets there for me but not quite. It was a great small change of pace from the DIPA kick ive been on lately and still gets me my hop fix. Certainly the best lagunitas I've had. Looking fwd to the other 5 I have and will seek out more soon.

 1,438 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a slightly chill hazen copper color, slow and separated carbonation bubbles, finger high cap of firm froth, starts whitish but becomes more yellow as it fades. A thin broken skim remains on top after the head completely wisks away and a solid amount of frothy bubbles collar the rim and lacing in intricately woven strings and broken sheets.

Aroma is bit sugary and malty sweet with some nice caramel factions and very dull fruitiness, albiet, its not a strong wiffer, it seems to come and go in its strength. A bit of warmth seeps into the nose as well.

Taste is quite nice, mellow and smooth start, very mellow caramel and cookie sugars and of course some very nice brown sugar start it out as it glides right down. The finish is the clincher, at least for me it is, very late intermingling hops and spices breath up back across the palate with some warming attributes to give it that extra boost of oomff. Then the lips feel as if its been eating pancakes with butter and brown sugar after a long while later. Hmmm...I must want some breakfast foods or something.

Feel is glidingly smooth and sugary upfront, good slick feel on the way down thats extremely easy goin'. Yum! Body seems about medium, quite creamy on top, late is whole 'nother beast here. It settles in with the sugars fading off and turning to some nice hopped spiced of grass and herbs with a happy warming that soothes the soul.

Ahhh....the karma worked its magic with this one. What a nice surprise and then some.

Super special note: Always check your boxes when a trade has made its way to your door! Thanks xlperro!

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Photo of Dools9
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark amber red color, very nice. Two fingers worth of white head, creamy, recedes to a nice skim and leaves lots of lace, big legs.

S: Sweet sugary malt, caramel, citrus, light pine, moderate amount of signature Laggy tropical fruits.

T: Excellent blend of caramel, maple syrup, toffee, sweet molasses and big, juicy, sticky tropical fruits in the way of pineapple, grapefruit and overripe peaches. Bitterness is medium and finishes sweet, big residual sweetness, sticky, and slightly hoppy.

M: Light to medium feel, smooth, medium carbonation. Alcohol is pretty well masked, slight warmth on the finish.

O: I've had quite a few Lagunitas beers and they all taste very similar to me, which isn't a bad thing at all. This one is tasty, and does a great act between the caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and juicy tropical fruity hops. Really nice stuff.

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

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a beautiful ruddy copper/amber tone with a good degree of clarity to it, maybe a finger of beige head lacking much retention, lapsing into a thin collar; nice lacing.

aromatic nose replete with hops (citrus, some pine) and a notable caramel malt presence, subtle brown sugar notes.

the hop characters lead the way in the flavor, with the malt and brown sugar sweetness opening up more mid-palate and then hops and some alcohol present in the finish. pretty damn tasty. sort of a crossbreed between a DIPA and a barleywine.

full/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. for a beer approaching 10% ABV this drinks pretty well.

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

12 oz bottle. Clear bright orange amber color with two finger head, great retention, coating lace. Sugary sweet aroma. Sweet syrupy taste immediately countered by dank piney and citrus rind hop bitterness, powerful. This brew is strong and a bit boozy but so drinkable, it's weird, just kept tasting and it was gone. The flavors just work well together, dangerous. Finish is dry and the hops stick around just long enough. Medium to full soft mouthfeel, glides down. Had this one awhile back and don't recall it being this tasty. Great brew, gonna get some more.

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Photo of nsheaxc
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Overall this brew is a hard to miss for the winter time. For sure a best "bang for your buck" beer when it comes to hoppy strong beers that you can get almost anywhere.

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

12oz to ale glass, pours a coppery orange shade with a creamy off white head eventually fading

smells of sweet biscuity, super grapefruit hop bomb creaminess, yum

taste is creamy and sweet, syrupy, great hop presence leaning on the grapefruit kind, molasses, biscuit, caramel, toffee, bitterness wrestles with the sweetness and balances out but bitterness prevails in the end

mouthfeel is of lingering hop astringent dryness, sweet and sassy, heavy weight, alcohol is masked professionally, an amazing beer overall!
delicious!

 529 characters

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

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a beautiful, clear amber with a thin head. Looks close to ruby-colored. Very nice look.

Huge aroma, but mostly generic malts and a bit o booze. Just a small bite of rum and cherry, almost like a mai tai.

The flavor is super-complex- tons going on here. Starts sweet, with a sharp caramel bite. The hops join in, and add a second layer of sharp piney flavor. It finishes with an earthy and bread-like softness, but leaves a lot of flavor behind. There's a bit of booze here, but the 10% is mostly well-hidden. Surprisingly not as sweet as I expected, but much more complex.

Finishes sticky, with a lot of flavor on the palate.

This brew does a lot of flavors, and it does them well. It's kind of like the Italian sandwich of beers- it has everything in it, and somehow they all seem to work together.

 833 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 JRed
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright reddish ruby in body topped by thick, off-white head that leaves a ring of lacing. Strong aroma of pineapple, some citrus, candy sugar, toffee, and molasses. A warming drink: molasses, toffee, citrus, booze, hop resin, some bitterness, some spice, finishes dry. Thick in body with medium carbonation. A tasty, surprisingly drinkable strong ale.

 351 characters

Photo of generalnotsew
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice body on this one. Dark mahogany that is consistent with barleywines. The head and lacing however is a bit thin. Smell is sweet caramel, boozy, sugary malts with a strong odor of bittering hops. And yes I would say it does have a brown sugar smell. Even being served a bit too cold it smell is powerful. Taste is all over the place. Somewhat tropical notes lead the way with the sugary sweetness of the caramel and candy sugar blasting it's way in. I have had 2 lagunitas beers before this and the aftertaste was plauged with a watered down sameness. I detect nothing like that here. It is quite flavorful thru and thru. Mouthfeel is extremely oily and thick with a bit of heat on the throat. I am really glad to have picked this up. Much preferred to Olde Gnarleywine.

 773 characters

Photo of CraigP83
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color, transparent with a thin off-white head. Smells of hops. There is another odor I can't quite pin, possibly grapefruit? Tastes like a slightly sweet IPA. I didn't get the brown sugar taste I was expecting until my glass warmed a bit. Drinks hot, perceived alcohol and cane sugar

 294 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,517 ratings.
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