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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,553 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:
1,553
Ratings:
5,541
Avg:
4
pDev:
21.25%
 
 
Wants:
295
Gots:
1,264
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,553 | Ratings: 5,541
Photo of zshaft
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours dark reddish transparent and clean. two finger head dissipates after few minutes. aromas of sweet candy and malt. medium body with mild carbonation. front palate of some biscut followed quickly by a sweet cherry taste and little malt sweetness quickly followed by some resinous hops maybe some orange rind in there and a slight alcohol tinge. this is a great beer in one of my favorite styles. alcohol is well hidden and sweetness is balanced out with plenty of good hops. I get this every year and will continue to do so.

 537 characters

Photo of akolb
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper with a white head. Smells of caramel malts and hops. Wow, this beer has a nice taste! Sweet, fruity, complex, malty, orange marmalade, with a bitter finish. A fair amount of alcohol burn. Nice and full-bodied. A great, unique beer.

 253 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into tulip to celebrate my survival of another bike ride home on the icy sidewalks of Edmonton.

Pours a deep, slightly hazy copper-orange with half a finger of light khaki head that leaves under-construction city skyline lace as it recedes.

Smells of big caramel malt, stewed citrus fruit, tropical fruit, toast with brown sugar and a lot of perfumed, piney hops.

Tastes of spiced orange preserve, roasted caramel malt, raw brown sugar, raisin tarts and more bitter piney hops.

Feels big and sturdy. Full bodied with creamy and supportive carbonation. Finishes dry

Verdict: Highly recommended. It won't tickle your sweet tooth, though.

 663 characters

Photo of stompilator
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. glass into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber, frothy off-white head.

S - Caramel, burnt sugar.

T - A big, complex malt profile comes right out the gate. Starting as a heavy, toasty caramel, the malt flavor becomes more layered and reminiscent of a doppelbock in its sweetness, toastiness, biscuit notes, and viscosity. An earthy, spicy, slightly berry-like hop character near the back end of the palate along with a subtle boozy bite. Finish is sweet, and surprisingly bitter.

M - Full-bodied, not too heavy for such a sweet beer.

O - Somewhere between a Winter Warmer, Doppelbock, and Barleywine, this is a thought-provoking, unique beer.

 664 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: January 30, 2016... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: helping Shan chop food for a new dish and preparing to show the boys The Desolation of Smaug... APPEARANCE: slightly opaque, sparsely bubbly amber orange brown body... the head is off-white, thick and chunky to begin... then it settles to an erratic, uneven heap of bubbles, soap and clouds--frankly, a surprise for a beer that sports a 9.8 % ABV... AROMA: a blast of raw sugray sweetness, coats the usual suspects in the hop bomb that Lagunitas lights--I sense Citra, the Columbus, the garlic of Summit... being a barleywine, the maltiness is a powerfully sweet, nondescript monolith of bread loaf... PALATE: heavy, slightly syrupy... active at the teeth and equally animated at the end... a force to be reckoned with... TASTE: dank, earthy, resinous and deeply infused with the sugary sweetness of cane; fewer floral notes of which to speak, and the malts solidify a forceful, meal-of-a-glass to experience... offers up a side dish of vegetable overtones, including prune and green bean... OVERALL: Having had--and enjoyed--the Sucks as a substitute, this presents an altogether heavier, sweeter, demanding version of its substitute--just what a barleywine should do...the overall drinking experience is sippable, stoic and contemplative...drinking into dinner,t the beer complimented a skillet comprised of chicken, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and bacon... quite a victory in that consideration....

 1,493 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L: brilliantly clear deep amber liquid, huge frothy tuft of amber-tinged creme-colored foam, sticking all over... looks lovely!

S: west coast barleywine hops and malt... hints of pine, black pepper, and mint, but full of spice, grapefruit, lemon/lime... little bit of cigarette ash... with a name 'Brown Shugga', I'd prefer to be smelling more of it

T: the hops combined with the up front booze make for a citrus eau de vie light grappa, or something... soft, brown malts lingering in the aftertaste as well as medicinal esters and fading, vaguely herbal bitterness... no bottle date, but this shows some age on the hops (and bready malt)... not much richness in the malt, so despite the smell suggesting something akin to Bigfoot, it's very much (late) hop forward and somewhat drier than expected

F: between the fossilizing hop resins, ostensible dextrins, and generous swells of ethanol, this is a majorly smooth

O: yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of this years ago (actually, this beer almost immediately turned me off to Lagunitas, for years) when I first tried it and time and experience hasn't made me appreciate it more... this is one of those west coast beers that's hopped out of balance for the sake of it and hasn't a distinct identity, despite the name 'Brown Shugga' on the label touting

 1,300 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caveat - just got done shoveling snow, so might be a bit of a pro-bold brew bias. So be it.
Clear copper color. Reasonable head with some lacing. Strong malt and hops nose. Taste is a pleasant assault of malt, brown sugar, and heavy. The sweetness and the bitterness work very well here. I really like this beer -- has me hoping for more snow so I can earn another couple. Bonus .25 for Lagunitas fun to read labels.

 417 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga has a medium, cream-colored head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and a good amount of bubble streams. The aroma is bold, sweet, dank barley malt and hop resin (think brown bread crust and slightly rotted spinach). Taste is of sweet, strong malt and fairly bittern hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium, and Lagunitas Brown Shugga finishes puckering and strong, yet mellow.

RJT

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Photo of SGT_Cookie
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, hard for me to believe that it's 9.8% ABV. The smell is a dank citrus aroma, appearance is a rich golden complexion. You can definitely feel the brown cane sugar they used on the mouthfeel, nice and rather thick. Taste is hoppy, with citrus notes, but you cant mistake the brown cane sugar though. Finishes just like the taste. Overall, awesome beer for the season, would definitely try again, with care!

 409 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance was a clear reddish-orange with a medium sized white head. The aroma was a sweet malt experience. The taste had a sweet malt and bread combination.

 212 characters

Photo of JimNeedsBrew
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice medium amber color with a finger of foam. This was a bit more bitter then I like but its definitely a full flavored beer. Didn't get much brown sugar but I enjoyed it none the less. Have a few more to get through. :-)

 240 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 Lahoi
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. An amazing beer. Way too easy to drink for a 10% ABV beer. In fact, it was so smooth I drank it much faster than I should have, and, along with the other beers I had, I felt it the next day. But it was worth it!

It's hard to compare this beer to others in the category because I've never had anything quite like it. It's so complex. Just when I thought I'd pinned down a flavor or note, I would detect something else. This is a slow, sipping beer like that of a barleywine or some stouts, especially those aged in bourbon barrels. Yet don't get me wrong: this beer isn't anything like a barleywine or a barrel ag d stout. Again, it's like nothing else I've enjoyed.

 671 characters

Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty color on the pour. Beautiful ruby. Grassy hop aroma. Rubbing alcohol, an astringent smell, orange juice. Taste, again grassy hop flavors. Bitter with an alcohol presence. A spicy heat to it. Overall, I am just not a big fan of the American strong ale category in general. This is no real exception to that. It's caught in between an iPa, a barley wine, and maybe a Scottish ale. All of which can be delicious. Their three way love child is not my fav though.

 465 characters

Photo of m4gdelen4
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful amber/copper color with a frothy finger head.

Smell is extremely sweet and alcoholic.

Taste is quite hoppy which in it's own way accentuates the sugary taste - cloying flavor. This beer is much better at about 9-11 months when the hoppiness and sugary qualities have faded enough to reveal a more balanced malt profile. It becomes a solid barleywine with a hint of sweetness.

IMO excellent for cellaring

 424 characters

Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful beer. Clear amber-copper color with a thick and lasting tan head. Nice spicy malty aroma. Clean bitterness framed by the malt and some caramel/toffee. Gentle warming and does not feel like a big ABV beer.

 215 characters

Photo of LouZ
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This went down way too easy for a strong ale! Poured dark brown, copper, with two fingers and great lacing out of a bottle. Aroma was not strong, but hinted at the sweetness to come. Taste was sweet malt with a nice brown sugar finish. Feel was smooth and easy, and you have no idea this is a 10% ABV. Dangerously good.

 319 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm rating this fifth beer from a sixer I purchased a while back, and at this point I've probably overthought this thing too much to review it without bias, but here goes, so chalk any vacillation up to pure ambivalence.

A mountain of tan froth stands atop this brown brew and dissolves slowly until only a few bubbles are left. Herbal hops to the front aroma-wise and a following of medium fruits and perfume. Notes of fruit and sugar are quickly overtaken by a wave of bitterness which is followed by a balancing caramel sweetness. Medium to heavy and the alcohol is barely noticed.

Brown Shugga' is all over the place, off the charts and static and fairly "normal" all at the same time. The dual nature of this beer will make it for some and break it for others. And while I can't pin it down stylistically, I can't really find any definite faults with it either.

 874 characters

Photo of PEESHALEODEJANARO
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just picked this up at Beer Noggin ( http://www.beernoggin.com/ ) in Bronxville, NY while my mother-in-law was down visiting and we were out shopping for Christmas. The bottle attracted me enough to pick one up. Love the texture on the label. Nice brown coloring and smell of caramel, to me. "Beer Speaks. People Mumble" ABV is high at 9.8%, which is niiiiice! This would go really well with a heavy meal, like stew or something out of a crock pot. I look forward to having again one day.

 490 characters

Photo of JSauer
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A really good beer overall. Nice head and color on the pour. I'm not a beer expert, but I smelled a nice sweetness and a citrus biterness and hoppiness. Taste is almost identical to the smell; starts with a nice sweetness, but then the bitterness and hops hit you and it all mixes.

You can definitely taste the alcohol, but for it being 9.8%, it doesn't have a high alcohol taste.

I'm not a huge fan of some of Lagunitas beers, but this is one their better ones. This is definitely a I grab if I'm in a pinch and I'm looking for a "go to" beer.

 547 characters

Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

If you like beers with a high bitter factor this is for you. I was expect something totally different. I should have read the description. However I like this beer. It's definitely not a beer you drink after yard work or even one you simply chug. It's a beer to be appreciated. Take your time and enjoy the bitter and boozy notes.

 330 characters

Photo of kdevore
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

6-pack bottles

Look: caramel/amber, not as dark as I was expecting.
Smell:Floral, hoppy
Taste: Very bitter (didn't read the IBU until after purchase, my fault), not much brown sugar like I was expecting although it came through a little once my taste got a little numb to the bitterness. Higher ABV was not real noticeable.
Feel: Nothing special to note, good or bad.

Overall: I didn't really care for it. I'm not into the overly hopped beer trend and this one is very hop forward. I think I would have liked it if the bitterness was dialed back. I wouldn't have bought it had I seen the IBU rating prior to purchase, but the name threw me off. Was expecting more of a sweeter malty beer. Not so much.That being said, I did drink the whole 6 (over a few days). I'm sure I would have rated it higher if I was into the bitter beers.

 833 characters

Photo of ahentz
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Flavor is good and there is some fruitiness, but overall very bitter. That's not my things, but I can appreciate that it is a good beer. ABV is high but there wasn't too much of the boozy taste. It's a nice beer if you like the bitter.

 238 characters

Photo of CountryRebel001
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour a clear, amber color with a white head. Smell us very hop forward, citrus, tropical, and alcohol. The smell through me off, was expecting a brown ale by the name but more like a ipa. Taste very bitter, off balance. Bitter and sweetness with some fruity notes and then nasty bitterness to finish. Horrible finishing taste of a bad ipa, not like the other Lagunitas if tried. Has a nice carbonation, very thin. Overall I did not like, and wouldn't recommend or buy again. Maybe I was thrown off by the name expecting more a dark beer, just was not very good to me. The balance was just very off to me, too sweet and bitter combined not good. I have another bottle I'll keep and try again just incase my taste was off tonight.

 728 characters

Photo of mkh012
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look- Amber or burnt orange. A lasting, frothy head. Carbonation is visible. A good-looking brew.

Smell- Mainly a fruity hop character. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, tropical fruits. Not getting the brown sugar too much, but it's certainly a sweet aroma.

Taste/Feel- A bit disappointed here. Not a bad beer by any means but perhaps overly hopped. Does a "Brown Shugga" beer really need to be 51 IBU? It does more than balance here. In my opinion, it outshines. Growing on me a bit as I drink it, the more caramel, brown sugar notes becoming slightly more apparent, but hops are the real star here. The alcohol is well-hidden, but this is still a strong beer for a developed palate because the bitterness lingers. I guess I've been spoiled by Belgian beers lately that manage to have a much cleaner aftertaste at this ABV. Not as well-rounded as I had hoped.

Glad I tried it, but probably would not seek this one out again.

 926 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,541 ratings.
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