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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:
5,390
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
1,175
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 5,390
Photo of facundoCNB
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a clean copper/amber pour with a slight amount of head that quickly fizzed away into oblivion.

smells of fresh piney hops up front, a slight chipotle pepper smokiness overtone, very sweet scents of figs, and grassy/earthy hops again.

such a sweet malty overtone it's hard to not fall in love with this. a mix of hops with the malt profile, and i'm guessing what would be the million pounds of brown sugar that went into this makes this pretty balanced for the most part.. seconds after you take the first sip you get the sweetness of the sugar come at you and a smile appears.

full body with low carbonation makes this a good sipper. you feel the 9.9% abv in the chest as a nice warm feeling (perfect for these cold days) ut you don't really taste it.

i haven't had this one since winter of '09/'10.... almost 2 years. this is one of those instances where i'm glad they took the beer away for a while.. because i't better than i even remember it. for a beer in general, it's a personal favorite.. nothing all that excellent about it, it's just delicious and i'm glad it's back.

 1,081 characters

Photo of downeyj4
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It has an good copper color, but seemed to have some haziness about it. There is a large amount of hops, but has an aftertaste of brown sugar. It is a good mix, but not a beer you would want to drink a whole six pack of. This was my first Lagunitas, so I am sure that I will have more.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, massive brown sugar, and hints of fruit. There is also a bit of yeasty funk aroma.

Taste is more of the impressive balanced malt and brown sugar. There is also generous mollasses and earthy hop bitterness. Finish reveals hints of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of hop oilyness. Very smooth.

Overall a balanced flavorful brew. The high ABV is dangerously concealed. A tasty treat that I will be returning to.

 546 characters

Photo of ditch
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy, dark red copper with a one finger off white head that fades slowly to a light covering of the top of the glass. Lacing is thin all the way down the glass.

Smells of sweet caramel and citrus hops. Way more hoppy than I was expecting from an ale called "Brown Shugga'." Also hints of vanilla and oak?

Taste is sweet caramel malts, and a perfect balance if hops. Near perfect balance here. Vanilla, raisins, a little lemon peel. Alcohol finds you in the finish but is not overpowering, considering the ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation to bring the flavors together. Slightly oily from the hops. Good thickness.

Drinkablility is also good here. Almost too good for this kinda alcohol content. Light enough to go down quick, but enough body to make you remember not to chuck this one.

This is a great Holiday beer. Thanks Lagunitas!

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from scarlet, who told me that it has a bit of age on it.

A - Pours a deep ruby-mahogany with a smallish tan head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer of foam. Lacing is fairly light.

S - Good balance despite the weakened hop profile. Citrus and a hint of pine fuse with sweet, complex notes of brown sugar and dark fruit, especially black cherry.

T - As expected, malt sweetness dominates on the palate. Dark fruit and brown sugar carry over from the aroma, joined by notes of anise and just a hint of vanilla. Some wood-like characteristics come through as it warms. There's a noticeable alcohol presence as well that actually compliments the sweet malt notes quite well. Despite the age on this beer, there's still just enough hop bitterness to bring some balance to it.

M - Medium-bodied with a lingering tinge of sweetness on the palate. Carbonation does a good job of staying out of the way while keeping the beer from being too rich.

D - Immensely enjoyable. I'm interested to see what sort of a hop profile this beer has when it's fresh, but as it is it's still very flavorful and complex. The alcohol is fairly conspicuous on the palate, and yet it's still very easy to drink.

 1,212 characters

Photo of beerphan
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> imperialPint
no date

Pours clear, a deep orange with a sandy 2inch white head, that slowly recedes to a blanket of white and sticks around till the bittersweet end. Some nice spiderweb lacing from top to bottom. Carbonation appears aggressive.

Nose: Hoppy and caramelly. Sweet brown sugar candy.

Taste: Sweet caramelized malts, sugar, citrus. Finishes with the bitter finish fighting with the abundant sweetness. Never quite in balance but never too unbalanced. Dry and slighly cloying but quite enjoyable.

Medium-full mouthfeel, that is syrupy,dry and lingering.

A uniquely flavored brew for sure. I was gonna rate the drinkability lower because of the sweetness and the high abv, but come to think of it, this is one tastey brew that is a little too easy to drink.

 800 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Deep ruby red with an thin eggshell white head. Damn..this is one enticing looking beer.

S-Strong sweet malts all the way. Classic Lagunitas nose. Lives up to the name so far.

T-Oh my gosh this is good! Thick syrupy sweet barleywine flavor hits you with heady malts, a punch of alcohol. Midpalate is resinous, deep, sweet marachino cherrys marinated in smokey fine bourbon. More than anything, this reminds me of a well made Manhattan. Awesome.

M-Well balanced creamy mouthfeel with balanced carbonation.

D-Very drinkable, which is scary given the ABV. Give me another, and another!

American strong ale? Hmmm...I'm not sure about that. I'd say it drinks like a barleywine and a well balanced and tasty one at that. If I'm not drinking beer, I am partial to Knob Creek Manhattans, and boy, this bowled me over on the first sip. Boozy? A bit, but it really hides the ABV. A very nice surprise from a brewery that is good at giving pleasant ones.

 979 characters

Photo of 29mikoyan
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice solid ale with flavors of honey, brown sugar, malt, and a beautiful spicy and earthy hop feel. The aroma is that of flowers and sweet caramel candy.

 155 characters

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

Purchased a fresh 6-pack from BevMo Brea. 9.84% ABV. Poured into an Allagash stemmed glass.

A- Brown Shugga' pours a remarkably clear amber color with a sticky head of off-white, almost tan-colored foam that settles to a frothy, silky cap that sticks around for the duration of my review. Each sip leaves a few drapes of lacing behind.

S- Say hello to caramel malts! Notes of brown sugar (shock), toffee and burnt caramel are backed by deliciously resinous tones of hops, particularly pine sap and juicy pineapple. There's a nice presence of boozy heat that's wrapped around the myriad of sweet and hoppy aromas.

T- The sweetness of the smell comes through in the taste. All the sugary and caramely notes of the aroma are present along with a good amount of hop bitterness -- pine and tropical fruits -- that again provides the perfect counterbalance. The finish is mildly dry and a touch watery as it leaves only a trace of hop flavor and passion fruit lingering on the back of the palate. The big alcohol is practically buried within the flavor profile. Great stuff.

M- A full-bodied and slightly viscous feel. Oily and slick with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- I blasted through a 12oz bottle of this nectar. The massively sweet character of this beer is exceptionally balanced by hops, and the nearly 10% ABV is really well-hidden. This is one of my new favorites from Lagunitas.

 1,396 characters

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

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pretty bright amber with a large frothy white head.

S - Sweet bready caramel malt, brown sugar, juicy grapefruit, pine.

T - Citrus and grapefruit hops burst onto the palate, followed by sweet burnt caramel, brown sugar and a light breadiness. Finishes with piney hops, herbal spice, and lingering toasted grains.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, creamy and a little sticky. Dry finish.

O - A delicious strong ale, and very hoppy. The sweet malts do lend some balance but the hops are on full display here. Easy drinking with a slow building alcohol warmth.

 583 characters

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

L - This beer pours a clear dark amber with a creamy white head and good lace.
S - Hints of citrus and pine. Also sweet caramel and brown sugar.
T - This is a unique beer. It starts off hoppy with grapefruit, pine, and lemon notes. After a few sips it gradually turns sweeter and sweeter. The strong hop front seems to lessen and a malty sweet brown sugar taste takes over.
F - This maybe a little on the thin side. It does have a nice dry finish.
O - This is an excellent amber ale. I've always been a fan of this beer. But, I like sweeter beers.

 550 characters

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

Copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Aroma is has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor is with brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses and some citrus tones. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish.

 308 characters

Photo of jtd1969
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange golden,fairly clear, with a tint of red. Slighty cloudy mainly due to abv... Good carbonation. Good lacing

S - Pleasant sweet citrus smell, some slight sugary malt
T - Lots of burnt sugar with caramel... Throw in some clean citrusy/grassy/spicy hops... A treat... Big and Bold at 9.9

M - Big smooth beer that lingers with hops, good carbonation

O - WOW, It is so good! I really enjoyed this beer!

 410 characters

Photo of Ack9788
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW, i think i;m still buzzed from last night, I go to school in delaware ohio and i had this powerhouse brew on tap at 1808 american bistro where they have something like 27 beers on tap.

This beer is delicious, its the perfect beer to have when you want a good beer...and nothing else, a burger with this beer and your ready to not move. Not a salad beer either, do your self a favor get a friend go to a bar with this on tap order your friend two bud lights pay for them you have a few of these and let him drive home. DO not let him taste it or you'll loose your driver.

 575 characters

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

Enough sweetness in one bottle to turn New York into a happy place (just kidding, love NYC).

That's the good and bad. Really enjoy the toasted/burnt malt or whatever is giving this brew that flavor. Kind of like slightly burning your toast then applying a thick layer of brown sugar. After your tongue copes with that first wave of burnt brown sugarness, a nice, not overly bitter, sensation of hops comes in. Seriously high alcohol content is not overly present, but definitely noticeable. Overall, A Wonderful Beer.

The bad: not shocking with a high sugar beer, the 9.99 ABV. It seems quite a bit higher. I can feel the effects from a 12 oz bottle. Two 20 oz tap pours is enough has given me a medium strong buzz, leading to a slight next morning headache. Advise caution when consuming Brown Shugga.

Secondly, they only make it in October, although they obviously started bottling more in 2010 because Brown Shugga went from 'hard to find' in 2009 to being stocked in the local chain supermarket.

I've poured into pint glasses, a Delirium Noel snifter, and, (get ready to shudder BAers) drank it straight from the bottle.

Pretty, dark brown-amber color, medium whitish-brown head. Lacing medium, lasting a minute or two. Scent rises from the glass like lava from a volcano, a sensation only beaten by very, very hopsy beers.

One of my favorites.

 1,354 characters

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

Poured into a straight pint glass. Minimal head leaves light but sticky lacing. A very pretty reddish-brown. Sweet aroma with nice hop touches. Flavor matches aroma closely. Smoothly sweet at the front with a balancing hop tang at the finish. Faint alcohol taste, but not in a bothersome way. Body is just a little lighter than full. Very drinkable, but this beer will sneak up on you. Because it's smooth, sweet and easy to drink you might not notice it preparing to pop you. Very enjoyable, becoming a yearly favorite.

 520 characters

Photo of albertjr21
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass on 3.30.11 this settles a beautiful, very clear cherry wood hued red color under a thin but nicely sustained head. The aroma is much milder than I'd have expected but otherwise an appealing one with notes of toasted sugar, light cherry, and moderate citrus hop. Mouthfeel and taste comes off very similar to a barleywine with a big complex taste. Bright, sweet, but earthy dark fruit, perhaps cherry, dominates the palate with somewhat of a spirit-like warming akin to, again, a barleywine. Finish is dry and sweet. Huge flavor delivered smoothly...Very nice.

 578 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

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

Picked up a pack of this today...couldn't wait to try it out.

appearance: pores a dark copper with a frothy brownish white head.

smell: caramel and hops, mostly hops.

taste: Caramel, citrus from the hops, some brown sugar mixed with a lightly malty/smokey backbone that balances it out nicely. Very well balanced with a slight hint of alcohol. I think I prefer this over SUCKS. I wish I had a bottle to make a full side by side comparison.

Mouthfeel: slick, sticky mouthfeel but doesn't linger for too long.

Overall: I'm highly pleased with this and looking forward to breaking out the next bottle. Another solid brew from Lagunitas.

 641 characters

Photo of pershan
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured an orangish-brown with very little head into a chalice. I detected alcoholic esters with a slight citrusy hop aroma. The taste was an enormous explosion of hop flavor and alcoholic esters, blending nicely with a distinct citrusy sweetness. The initial taste dissipated into a long-lasting hop bitterness. A very tasty and drinkable beer - it is definitely one of my favorites from Lagunitas. Nice carbonation and lacing too.

 491 characters

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

Ive been very fond of the Lagunitas brew's that I've had so far, so when I saw the brown shugga I had to try it.

Pours a ruddy copper color with a fluffy tan head. It leaves little lacing. Smells like spicy hops and a bit of sweet malt. Feels good on the way down, refreshing and easy drinking. I think this is one dangerous beer. 9.9% alcohol and goes down fast and easy.

I'll be returning to this brew.

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

appearance: pours a very clear, see through copper color. tons and tons of carbination which forms a very nice head.

smell: burnt caramal and lots of brown suggah. a bit of that lagunitas hoppiness.

taste: a tasty beer. they seemed to have upped the hops this year and I'm not complaining. mixed in there are sweet caramal and warm brown sugger. just a trace of alcohol that you feel in the gut

mouthfeel: drinks super light as you would expect from all the sugar.

drinkability: drinks like a beer half it's strength. i'll have to be carefull because i could put a few back before i knew what hit me.

This is a very good winter beer.

 650 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 12oz. Bottle (fresh)

Smell: Intense, complex hop character (pine, floral, and citrus) layers over everything and leans this towards an IPA, but there is more than enough sweet brown sugar, dark caramel, toffee, light ripe fruit, red grape to stand up to it. Reminiscent of a great IPA with a solid malt backbone. Tons of intensity and well rounded. A little boozy and slightly metallic at it warms.

Taste: An sweet explosion of syrupy fruit, dark caramel, piney and floral hops. Slick, oily, and irresistible. Followed by a slow, paced crescendo of bitterness that abolishes the prior flavors but still feels restrained and is far from astringent. Tons of citrus/lemon peel and oils with a solid resiny snap. Hides the 10% ABV alcohol very well, but I think it helps to ever so slightly dry the beer out here and add a nice counter-point the sweetness up front. Finish is slightly sweet, reminiscent of dark red fruits and maple syrup, with plenty of complex, oily hop character and a touch of pepper. One of those syrupy, lip-smacking beers.

Notes: Tremendous. Lagunitas really shines on this one, but it's a heavy, thick brew. Modulates the sweet-bitter axis well, has great hop and malt flavors and excellent mouthfeel. What more can you ask for?
cellent mouthfeel. What more can you ask for?

 1,315 characters

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Amber, 1 1/2" off white head

S- Dank hops, apple, spices tingle the nose

T- Burnt sugar, dank signature lagunitas flavor, alcohol

M- Medium body, normal carbonation, alcohol heat, bitterness tingles the tongue,

O- A freak, a deformity brought on to us, when a recipe went wrong. The flacholent musk from this beast is offensive, the obscene flavor is out right blasphemy. This autrosity. I will hide it from the world, for they will never understand, and love it as my own, and drink this abomination, until i cannot stand.

 580 characters

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

Great beer. Drank this one from the bottle and i was not disappointed it really does live up to the hype. VERY tropical. A lot of pineapple going on with some mellowed out tropical skittles. Very sweet but what would you expect with a name like brown shugga. It has pretty good bitterness going on in the back too.

 314 characters

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