Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,583 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
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Reviews: 1,583 | Ratings: 5,648
Photo of Lahey
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer to me is in between an ipa and a brown ale or red. It has the strength of a dipa and the lingering hoppy flavor too. It also has a certain sweet maltiness in the initial flavor. It's like a sweet version of an ipa to me, but not syrupy. Very intriguing and worth a try.

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Photo of egregor35
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Malt forward, definitely a sweet body. No strong alcohol taste initially. Dark amber hue. Smooth mouthfeel with a lingering floral hop aftertaste. Not a huge fan of reds, but this is one that is quite quaffable.

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Photo of spursfaninla
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Malty but not much else out of it. It was ok. Enjoyed it much more the first time, but i realize now I favor browns, Porter's and stouts over many reds. If it is a red, I want it sweet. This just isn't.

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

It pours dark amber or brown with a tan head. Fairly clear. Aroma is sweet malty with some hops coming through too. With regard to the taste it is sweet with some prolonged bitterness at the end and with a surprisingly floral aftertaste. One can definitely taste the brown sugar too! Medium body. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of SamuelMiller
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look is a nice brown, with a nice foamy head. The taste is a bit sweet and it's hard to tell it is 9.80%. The feel is nicely smooth and overall it is a good beer. Usually If I'm going for a higher abv I'd prefer an imperial stout or IPA over an APA or anything barrel aged, but this is a solid APA.

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

Had this on tap in a goblet. It was a nice hazel brown. Strong indeed - can taste the alcohol in this one, and hoppy like most Lagunitas beers. Medium thickness, very malty and delicious. Would like to find this one again someday.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.88/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I got almost nothing out of this beer when I drank it aside from a very hoppy flavor. It's pretty to look at, but in taste, I can't get anything other than hops. Bitter, strong, and not very smooth, I think this beer is mediocre at best.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep clear ruby-hazel, with a large head. The aroma offers lots of sticky, piney hops, resin, cannabis, and caramel. The flavor i sweet and sticky with resinous pine, cedar, and caramel. The mouthfeel is rich and sticky with lots of carbonation. Overall this is a straightforward beer, but completely delicious. It is malt driven, but the hos also play a huge role, with all their cannabis and resin suggesting tones.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a dark amber bordering on cola with a big white head.

Aroma is malty alcohol lotta biscuit to it.

Taste is a very strong hoppy barleywine. Similar to fresh Bigfoot.

Good, but I'd kinda like to see the hops integrated more thoroughly.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L- a brownish amber, thin head vanishing swift, with nice, long lasting lacing.
S- fruity malt, Christmas spirit wafting on the west wind!
Taste- a complex yet cozy, wholesome affair, the label of this six pack states a 9.7%, which is well hidden, yet a big, big beer it is, it's potency lingers on the mouth's roof, while the holiday spice-tinged citrus and other fruits explode with each precious gulp, lol

Feel / Overall Too strong for causal drinking, a sipper indeed, warming like an Imperial, but not the 'burning down the throat' sensation, that several Lagunitas Imperial Stouts have provided me in the last couple of rainy ( rather pleasant) months ... after numerous (Imperial) Stouts, this is a refreshing, complex, well-balanced fruity, malty change of pace!

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Photo of Fee
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber holiday ale. Its a good strong ale with rich flavors. You can taste the malt presence in this beer, but the hops are there too. The flavors are noticeable in the smell and this is a smooth beer. Its good - but the malt might overwhelm a bit, so it's a sweet offering.

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Photo of FBarber
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear reddish brown color. Couple finger tan head dissipates laving tons of sticky lacing and a thin residual head.

Smell has aromas of brown sugar, oily floral/grassy hops, sweet malts, and touch of fruit - notes of citrus.

Taste follows the nose with a strong sweetness up front giving way to a surprisingly bitter hoppy finish. Lots of orange peel, brown sugar, caramel and pine. Pretty sweet overall. Pleasant malty base comes through

Feel has mild carbonation. Thick sticky mouthfeel thats likely from the sweetness. Dry finish.

Overall its a pretty good beer- solid old ale.

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

Deep amber in color, slightly hazy. Orange cream head with a fair amount of lacing and retention. Sweet caramel malt aroma with spice, burnt sugar, and orange peel. Sweet taste, brown sugar and spice with orange and caramel. The flavor lingers on the palate with a resinous, fir and citrus finish from the hops. Excellent!

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Photo of Bforsythe1
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured in to a tulip.

Appearance is amber and ruby and golden, befitting the holiday season. Id have certainly enjoyed it as a Christmas brew had I been aware of it then. Head was generous and creamy, retention was pleasing because it stuck around long enough to admire and not long enough to get in the way of a clean sip.

The smell is great, very unique and sweet. You pick up vanilla and malt as well as pine and hops. The citrus qualities were unexpected but fitting. Again, a great Christmastime brew.

Taste is top notch. sweet malt and sugar are in the front. I would describe the sugars as "toasty" or slightly burnt. Pine and citrusy hops are present on the palate in the finish, allowing the beer some very refreshing qualities that distinguish it immediately from a sweet stout or anything of the sort.

Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced, the sweetness being present without ever being syrupy or heavy and the pine and citrus are in the mix without ever being too dry or astringent. Alcohol is undetectable despite the high ABV so take care not to get too drunk, cause it'd be easy to knock these back all night long.

Overall, unique and beautiful brew. Outstanding.

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Photo of akirakcat
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look is a deep amber, with a thick and creamy head.

Taste is rich, with subtle burnt sugar (not as much as the name suggests), vanilla, and pine. And of course some hops. Mouthfeel is dense and smooth.

Extra points for this brew being so flavorful, so alcoholic , and so drinkable at once. It's like a barleywine, but disguised as a sweet and spicy holiday beer (albeit a rich one). Very unique to my experience.

have had this on tap a few times (the first time I did not realize the abv and had 3)

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Photo of BraftBeer619
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on the 357th day of 2016. Consumed on 1/14/2017. Pretty fresh! Around 3 weeks old. I give this beer a B+/A- :)

L: The beer is a golden/amber color combo. I didn't pour the beer aggressive enough so I had a one finger head that dissipated, but leaves a trail on your glass as it's consumed.

S: As its name suggests, this beer has a sweet and very unique smell to it. Sweet malts with some citrussy pine mixed in there upon pouring,, but as the beer warms the sweet malts become the dominant aroma. Very unique and hard to describe at first.

T: Just like the aroma, this beer has a very unique taste. It tastes and smells kind of like a "prettier" Arrogant Bastard. Fairly sweet, caramel malts, with some citrus/pine notes that come through at the end. As the beer warms, the caramel malt becomes the much more dominant flavor. The alcohol is very well hidden, you would not be able to tell it's a 9.7% beer, very impressive and dangerous ;).

F:I think this beer is easy drinking. Lighter side of medium carbonation. Balanced

Overall to me this is a great, nicely executed, and very unique beer. The most similar beer I've tried to this is the Arrogant Bastard, but that doesn't say much because they are still very different. The 6 pack was $12 and which is such a great value. Lagunitas is becoming my favorite brewery, because they make great beers and their value is almost unparalleled.

Would I buy this gain? Yeah probably next year. Not really an everyday beer to me, but probably something I would not want to miss out on when its released. Cheers! :)

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Generous head over a clear amber body. Lotsa lacing.

More hops than expected. They are the dominant flavor in fact. Malt is not biscuity but rather sweet. Generally sweetness with hop bitterness as an aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth.

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Photo of Philsadvns
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great beer. Has a savory smell to it with a hint of that wonderful brown sugar it's named after, sort of thick in mouthfeel...full and satisfying on the pallet. I can hardly taste the alcohol at all. I love the color, the slight haze in the pour and pretty much everything about it. Little bit of hippiness on the back end but I don't think that's really what this beer is about, but it's there anyway. Good job Lagunitas.

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

Cookies. Got your attention? I can't escape the general sensory experience of warm, snickerdoodle cookies while drinking this. The look is closer to an Amber than I would expect of a debatably "dark" beer, but in terms of all other criteria, this pup lives up to the name. I saw Lagunitas' brewmaster describe this as "technically a barleywine," which makes sense, as barleywines are my thing next to never, given their black licorice and raisin business, and I won't say that I would drink this regularly, but should I have a slab of pumpkin pie before me, and grandma holding a gun to my head (she's that kind of lady), Brown Shugga would go down just fine. Look forward to seeing you next Christmas, fellas.

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Photo of omahawk
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Disclaimer: these big American hopped beers used to be in my wheelhouse, but are no longer my favorite. That being said, this is a well made beer. I've been drinking this 12 oz bottle from my favorite glassware for the past hour, and it's retained a fine head and beer still laces when I take a swig. It's relatively balanced for a big, boozy beer. I personally would prefer a little more biscuit and roast for balance. However, nice hop nose, good bittering. Call it an American Strong of Malt-focused Double IPA, this is a solid, big American Ale. What you'd expect from Lagunitas.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas makes some intense brews, and this is a good example. 9.7% abv. 1.100 o.g. 51 ibu.

Dark honey/amber color. Mid sized foam cap, solid white. Decent lacing left over.

Thickly sweet malt bomb aroma. Caramel scented malt with some red fruits and tangy citrus from the hops. Smells like fruity whisky.

Freshly poured from the bottle and into a mini snifter glass, the flavor has a very intense fruity hop kick, high alcohol heat buzz and a long, caramel-sweet malt that turns, woody or cask-like. I'm imagining this stuff out of the barrel!

A massive full body, nice crisp punch that mellows to long, slick malty finish. I'm thinking of pairing this with smoked cheddar cheese at some point, if I have any of this beastie liquid left by the time I'm hungry.

With Big, strong ale's I find it important to comment on how well the flavor changes as the liquid warms. After all, you really should sip on this or you may become too drunk, too early in the night. Go slow, and let it warm up some. Usually the malt gets more complex and sweeter.

I believe this style of ale is what Kings and Vikings would drink if they came back to rule the world, or if this type of brew was around then.....although, maybe they would demand a Gold colored brew......anyway.......

As it warms, the aroma strengthens, more fruity hops, bigger , sweet, cask barrel malty tones come out.

I'm thinking of this brew to be the Mike Tyson of beer. Just F'in rugged, street smart, slightly ignorant, but demanding respect....always. It's giving me major attitude as I type this. Pretty sure it wants to take a swing.

Big in all ways, complex and honestly, the balance is just right for this style. Que to Stones song.....

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color of a clean penny with a small off white head that vanishes quickly, leaving some nice lacing.
I hate the word aroma, so I'm gonna say I smell some malts and piney, citrusy hops.
This has a nice sweetness upfront and a mild citrus finish.
This is one of those beers that sneaks up on you. The ABV is well hidden. Another terrific offering from Lagunitas.

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Photo of donspublic
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip, monster 2 finger light tan head, recedes rather slowly, great lacing. Darkish amber in the glass, crystal clear to look at. Smells of malt, crystal, caramel some pine on the nose. This is an in your face caramel sweetness on the front end, followed up by piny citrus hops in the middle with a mild bitterness and finishes up with malt sweetness. Very thick almost syrupy mouthfeel, great mouthfeel. I like this, and don't mind having it every now and then, but this one is just a little too sweet for me to drink quite frequently. I grabbed a six pack of this last winter and never got around to rating it. I told myself I just didn't like it and didn't know if I would finish the six pack but that puppy disappeared rather quickly, so maybe subconsciously I like this more than I think.

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Photo of Trentontiger
1.79/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This has got to be one of the worst beers I've ever tasted. Cannot comprehend how this has such a high rating. All you can taste is nasty astringent hops and heavy alcohol. Tastes terrible and also brings on a killer headache. If you're looking for a winter beer like I was, stay away from this one!

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Photo of Severymusic
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank two 12oz bottles back to back, 1/2/17. No bottling date found on the bottle. Poured into a plastic cup like a goddamned animal.

Good caramel color like dark brown sugar, smells a little spicy, good balance of bitter and sweet. You would never know this is 9.7% in a blind taste. Alcohol is hidden well.

After reading some other reviews, I'm noticing more pine-hops smell than citrus, but a better balance of the two in the taste. Burps feel like a Christmas tree.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,648 ratings.
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