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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 DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

 733 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear copper amber color that produced a yellow-ish head that dissipated quickly, but left some lacing behind.

(S)- Has a big lemon zest aroma that has a light pine hoppiness folowed by a dry but sweet brown sugar.

(T)- Very similar to the aroma, but with a little lime thrown with the lemon citrus. Malty, but not very much so. Very reminiscent of a barleywine, but with far less malt.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A little bit too much citrus though; it gets a little bit in the way from wholly enjoying what little malt background this has.

(D)- A good beer with an interesting citrus kick. I wish I knew the age on this, cause it doesnt taste like its older due to how vibrant the citrus fruits are. Definitely would have this again though.

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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?

 1,085 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of malt, hops, and above all else, brown sugar.

T: Tasted of malt, hops, and caramel, with some brown sugar present, though not as much as I would have expected. A well rounded flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

 472 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear burgandy. Thick, dense off-white head. The froth coats the glass heavily as I drink. Aroma is sweet. Very sweet. Caramel sweet. And there's a whiff of alcohol as well. And some tropical fruits. Rummy alcohol notes are noticed up front on the palate. And the alcoholic bitterness lingers long after the sip. The flavor is pretty sweet, but not quite to the cloying extent. Sweet and alcoholic sum up this beer quite well. And there's some estery goodness in the mix as well. Passion fruit tones and such. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Decent enough, but not really noteworthy.

Here's a shout out to the LBB for the sample. Thanks bud.

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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 HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.26.12.

A - Pours a clear orange-brown with a one inch light tan, foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy pine mostly and some sweetness.

T - Hoppy pine, then some sweet candy, carmel malts and brown sugar.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, a very sweet finish.

O - Hoppy up front with a sweet brown sugar finish.

 345 characters

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

What a pleasant beer. And talk about unique. . . if BA had a originality category, this would get a 5.

Pours out a reddish brown color. Beige head, about 5/8". Good lace. Aroma is sweet, like brown shugga!

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. You get a hop blast somehow, which I didn't expect in a beer with so much "brown shugga" in it. But it isn't over the top sweet that is a turn off. Had some bitterness to pair with it.

Easily Lagunitas's most original work. A great brewery, a real good beer.

Its not as good as Hop Stoopid or their Pale, but its in good company with all their others. . .

 606 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, caramel brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: caramel malt and citrus hops

Taste: toasted malt, dash of caramel, citrus hops, and brown sugar that starts in the middle and lasts through the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, nice mix of sweet and bitter. The sweet taste shows itself more as the beer warms.

Drinkability: A solid beer that is one per sitting for the high abv. As stated above the sweetness really comes out as the beer warms. I will look for this again.

 527 characters

Photo of Bung
3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hardy copper/amber pour with a nearly non-existant white head. Non-descript hops with slight malt and brown sugar aroma. Flavor dominated by hops, not overly bitter, just overly present. Not sure how anyone could get sweet out of this. I want to sit and disect this but it's just an IPA with some brown sugar. Clean finish sure, drinkability good especially for the abv. Probably great if you're a straight hop head. The base of the beer tastes like EVERY SINGLE other beer I've had from Lagunitas. Malt and roast are just too words they don't like to incorporate. It's like they just keep taking their IPA and adding different small items and calling it a different named Strong Ale. Everybody is always so high on this brewer and I guess I just don't get it. West Coast bitter beer, the thought being this is crisp and clean and organic in some instances. Rambled enough. I was unimpressed with this and will age 1 but look to donate the other 4 I have. Even their capuccino stout was just a heavy brown. Ok, now I'm done.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into my Fat Tire pint

Pours a crystal clear, mahogany color with tiny bubbles. A nice light tan head rose to about a finger and a half and then subsided in time. Little to no lacing.

You can smell the brown sugar as soon as you open the bottle and start the pour. But as soon as I dropped in for a better whiff, my nose fills with pine needles and a citric hoppiness that is a pleasant surprise. Don't get me wrong, the smell of brown sugar and caramel malts fill out the backside of the nose.

It really does have an interesting balance going on, er, lack of balance. But it's really not a bad thing, it works for them. You get slight flavors of hops right off the bat that leads way to a more dominant alcohol warming and a sugar/caramel finish. The warmth lingers with a slight tinge of sweetness. Pretty much same as the nose, but comes at you from different directions.

Medium bodied. Really sticks to the tongue and mouth. Kinda spicy.

It's good, but doesn't do anything great.

 1,006 characters

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

Aromas are not surprisingly barley wine oriented with some, no surprise, brown sugar, molasses, vinous apple, dark caramels. Once you get past the sweetness you get the hop end with citrus and lemon and a little earthiness.

The taste is extremely well balanced with waves of dark caramel malts and brown sugar with dark vinous fruit notes again. The aroma and taste complement each other very well. The hop bitterness helps to balance out the sweet nature of the brew preventing it from being cloying.

The mouthfeel if full and thick, deserves to be sipped and savored. Balanced carbonation also helps to keep the higher ABV and sweetness in check. Overall a great full flavored unique offering from the brewery I usually pass on because of their aggressive Pacific hop tendencies but this is perfectly balanced and delicious.

 830 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Unclear bottling date. Poured into a snifter 12/1/2014.

A- Clear but dark caramel-brown body, one finger white head with ridiculous retention. There is still a thick collar and film on the beer after I stepped out for 20 minutes! Nice lacing as well. [4.25]

S- Rich caramel aromas, strong fruity grapefruit and citrus. A bit of pine resin as well. This is a very, very strong double IPA that is balanced and quite juicy. [4]

F- Caramel is now accompanied by toffee for a bit more complexity than in the nose. The hops shine through as they do in the nose. Citrus, grapefruit, pine. You could convince me there is also a floral aspect as well, though it wouldn't be as strong as the other components. Rich, sweet and hop-forward. Very nice balance. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation that's in the right spot. A sipper due to the overall sweetness and the mild heat. A nice one for a cold night like tonight. [4]

O- Very nice "strong" ale; as typical of Lagunitas there is no real style category you can put this beer in. It's a mix of an American Double IPA with a rich barleywine; there isn't nearly as much maltiness in this beer as in a barleywine, but it is overhopped in a way only American Double IPAs can claim. Very tasty, flavourful and inexpensive brew. [4]

Final score: 4.13

 1,312 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah truly gets a sweet release with this here fine, fine product. Yessir. Ah surely does. Poured only a small sample so didn't get much of a head. But, what's there lasts. No lace. Lovely deep red tinged amber color. Dark ripe fruit, malts, caramels, brandies in flavors. Booze in the mouth with good carbonation. Very good mouth. Quite rich. Maybe a bit heavy for a session beer. Nice finish.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly fades into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells much hoppier than I'd anticipated. Lots of citrus aromas joined by a mild spicy sweetness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Again, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of hops here but that's what I got. Large hits of grapefruit joined by sweet caramel malts and a small spice kick at the end. The flavor profile took some getting used to, but I liked it more near the end of the beer than I did in the beginning. I would never have guessed this was almost 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good wet feel with good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting mash-up of styles that's easy to drink once you get used to it.

Overall this is a very interesting beer that's certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangey-brown color with a huge off-white head that leaves all kinds of thick lacing down the glass. Boozy aroma with caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Mouth-feel is sticky-sweet and thick, coats the palate well. Tastes are caramel, brown sugar, with hints of fruits such as plums, vanilla and toffee. As it warms, the true flavors come out. More of an earthy hop bite adds to the sweet finish and really aids the balance nicely. Overall, this is a unique ale that I enjoyed. This is recommendable and I usually buy at least one bottle every fall upon release.

 569 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Pours a beautiful burnt red/copper with a loose half inch, tan-colored head that reduces its volume by half in less than a minute before eventually settling into a swirl and a band. Clarity is translucent. Nose is a little difficult to decipher - sweet malt, a slight vinegary quality and maybe a trace of soy sauce. Taste follows nose - definitely getting that salty, soy sauce flavor following the malty/brown sugar start. There's also a light hops presence that helps balance out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a slightly oily quality and an easy, even carbonation. Not sure how I feel about this one. It's not bad, and I would certainly try it again, but it's not what I would consider exemplary.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour an obscure amber color, the head is exorbitant in size, the consistency frothy with enormous sticky sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Also must say, the sediment is suspended much as the definition of obscure states. Nose is malt, floral, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, a “Top Notch Sniffer” for the old proboscis. Front is malt and thickly sweet, the top full-bodied, the finish is medial on the carbonation, medicinal in its hop spicy bite, dry, alcohol bitter aftertaste “OOOHAAAAA”, how I love these “Bad Boys”.

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Photo of champ103
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color. A two finger white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Tons of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, yeast, some spice as well. Plenty of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with lots of sweet malt. Dark fruits of raisins and plums. A big, kind of Belgian yeast flavor as well. Lots of alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Syrupy and sticky. Lots of alcohol makes this hard to finish.

Not bad, but the alcohol really shows here. Other than that, just some sweetness, and not a lot of depth. Another overly alcoholic beer with no nuance. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown body with a small, creamy off-white cap that has decent retention. An impressive coat of thick lace is left by what I thought was a dinky cap.

S- Dark fruit with a nice caramel and toasted nutty malt profile. Just a bit of brown sugar below a deep caramel, almost like an old ale.

T- Big, deep caramel of a Barleywine hits me up front with a strong citrus, pine and floral hop profile. A bit of dark fruit as well as, brown sugar. Sweeter than what I am used to, although the name might suggest that.

MF- Creamy body with nice carbonation to suit the flavors at hand. Hops bring a good amount of bitterness with them.

DB- I remember having this before and being a bit confused. I have come to understand what is going here somewhat but it still feels strange. The multiple style mixture feels somewhat abrasive but I cannot stop taking huge gulps of this. A not so common combination of flavors but a must try for craft beer fans. Brown + Barleywine + IPA + brewing skill = this beer...?

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a clear amber color with some hints of ruby red seen shining through. Upon pouring there is a nice one finger of a thick, off white head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, hanging on for quite some time, but eventually fading to leave a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very sweet with lots of brown sugar and caramel and some big fruit aromas as well. The fruit smells are a mix of light fruit as well as a bit of some darker fruit aromas. The lighter aromas are biggest of a tropical smells with some apple and apricot mixing in, while the darker fruit aromas are mainly a mix of cherry and plum. A hint of a biscuit smell rounds out the aroma, producing an overall sugary and fruity nose to the beer.

Taste – The taste is rather surprising in light of the nose, as it contains a much maltier, slightly less sweet, and more hopped flavor the smells let on. The taste begins with a rather big malty flavor of a bready and doughty nature. There is a good level of sweetness right from the start as well with lots of tropical fruit flavors of tangerine, mango, and papaya as well as tons of caramel flavors. As the taste advances, the tropical fruit flavors lose some potency, being replaced by flavors of brown sugar and a bit of a cherry flavor. As the taste moved on from the middle, some grapefruit and grassy hop tastes come to the tongue. These flavors grow slightly more intense to the end of the taste, where the mix of flavors ends up leaving a moderately hopped, rather fruity and sugary, thick malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly lower carbonation may have been a little better for the big malt and sweeter flavors of the brew, but the thicker feel is very nice for highlighting the hop flavors mixed with the big malty and sweet flavors, really producing a rather nicely blended flavor.

Overall – A good malty and sweet brew with a decent level of hop and a great drinkability even at 9.9 % abv. A rather nice, and easy drinking big brew.

 2,195 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Two fingers fluffy head has great retention. The beer is a light golden caramel colour, clear with light effervescence. Nice lacing.

S: Hops are strong and metallic. Sharp; piercing.

T/M: Excellent. Rich, strong, and assertive. The hops are overpowering, with a lightly vegetal very citrusy feel. The base though is rock-solid, with a malty presence, reminiscent of the heavy depth of brown sugar...and the alcohol byproduct of its consumption. I couldn't quite call it balanced because all the flavors are so big.

O: Great beer! Very, very drinkable for such a strong beer. I'm impressed. Will buy (and drink) more of this.

 680 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Appearance is a hazy, brownish amber, with a large, long lasting off-white head that leaves clingy lace, an obvious benefactor of the sugar and hop content.

Smell is fruity and malty, with a nice west coast hop backbone.

Taste is also really assertive on the hops of the PNW variety, but plenty of assertion from the malt and sugar. Fruity apricot and grape esters really come out as it warms, but it keeps from thickening too much. Sweet of course, but there's more to it that, with only a hint to the high ABV, this is ones probably my favorite of the winter big hoppy reds.

Mouthfeel is a bit oily, medium bodied.

Drinkability is very good for me...I rarely have more then 2 or 3 in a sitting due to the high ABV and robust taste, but I enjoy them fresh all winter. Another tasty, cheap big brew from Lagunitas, very cool!

 868 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Amber color with a very small head. Aroma is mostly caramel, with a little bit of citrus. Taste was caramel/brown sugar, with a strong malt presence, and some grapefruit hoppiness. A fairly robust beer, kind of chewy. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will look for it again.

 316 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-orangish amber color....nice frothy vanilla head.

S-Sweet sugary malt...a hint of maple...Ok but doesn't grab you by the throat and scream "drink me mother fucker"...decent but not great.

T-Very sweet flavored...heavy molassses, brown sugar, maple malt backbone....there is also a unique piney hop bitterness.

M-Very full bodied and thick...this is a big boy no doubt.

D-I like sweet beers and I like this to a point. Here's my problems with this....it feels too sweet and the hops used just do not blend nicely at all with the malt...kind of a muddled drinking experience that isn't bad but isn't great either...some bitterness on the long finish really confuses the hell out of my buds after the almost sickening onslaught of sticky sweetness at the start..

I'd still say it's worth a try and I'd rate it a little above average overall...

 857 characters

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