Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,583 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:
1,583
Ratings:
5,646
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
296
Gots:
1,325
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,583 | Ratings: 5,646
Photo of trevorjn06
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/brown color with nice amber highlights and a very thin layer of froth on the surface.

Aroma is caramel, brown sugar/molasses and a faint earthy hop smell. Fairly straight forward.

Taste is definitely on the sweet end of the spectrum, though there is just enough hop bitterness to balance it a bit. Flavors of caramel, brown sugar, honey and a bit of hop bitterness wash over my tongue, this beer is not shy. The finish leaves brown sugar and alcohol flavors lingering but is relatively crisp, not too sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/low carbonation and a nice mouth-coating feeling.

Overall this beer is quite drinkable for it's strength and not cloyingly sweet as I expected. The flavor profile is relatively simple, though satisfying. I would drink this again.

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Photo of Braudog
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 22oz bomber; this poured an orange-tinted amber with a thin but prominately standing cover of thin foam. Light sugary aroma. The sweet brown sugar (surprise?) flavor was mellow -- I’d never peg this for an almost 10% ABV beer. This drinks very easily, only slightly warming with a nice full but casual Barleywine-like burn, with a slight hoppy tingle to finish it. Good. (#2796, 4/14/2007)

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly cloudy in the glass, orangy, with a decent head that melted away fairly quickly. The nose is nice and sweet; smells like spent grain. The taste is not real exciting, complex but transitions through a sort of medicinal phase before finishing with a fruity tang. The mouthfeel is good but too heavy to be very drinkable. I'm not sure where I got this but I know it wasn't recently; perhaps this bottle is a little old.

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

Served slightly chilled in a Duvel tulip. 2012 vintage!

A - pours a copper red-orange, big white-orange head that sticks around for a good while

S - sweet caramel and piny hops, a bit of citrus, followed by a bready maltiness. A little bit of booze hits the nose as well

T - you really get the sweet caramel from the brown sugar, then quickly hops to the face. Intense bitterness, piny, citrus follows that initial mellow sweetness. A big biscuity backbone finishes up

M - full-bodied, a bit of burn from the 9.99% abv, definitely not overpowering

O - yet another great offering from Lagunitas. I hadn't had this one before, then with all the hype of it not being produced last year got me excited to try it this year. Definitely did not disappoint, happily recommended.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Pours a ruby hued brassy color in to a pint glass. There is a decent one finger head with some mild retention and lacing.

Smell:
The scent is very sweet and malty presenting notes of toffee and New England brown bread. A pleasant hopping prevents the scent from being overwhelmingly sweet.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Here's a beer that is definitely pushing the boundaries of its style. The mouthfeel is bitter and full with a strong alcohol presence. For being 9.9% ABV though I find this beer to be incredibly tasty and well balanced when you put the apparent alcohol on the side. It tastes like figs and raisins with just the right touch of hopping. The finish is a little thick but the flavors are semi pleasant touches of bitter grapefruit rind which then moves on to a mild figgy aftertaste.

Drinkability:
Pretty much the only thing hurting this beer drinkability is its near 10% ABV. It's rather tasty and well balanced given its make up to me.

Bottom Line:
It's a lot better than I thought it would be. I was expecting something a little more dopplebock like but I was pleasantly surprised by the hop and fruit character this beer presents.

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Photo of Tolann
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hella big thanks to Nic for granting me this bottle.
Slainte!

A - Cloudy golden orange. white head. Kind of makes me think of a dark apple cider color

S - sweet molasses, and some fruit. A little bit of grassy hops on the end. Definitely brown sugar in there. Kinda maybe like a barley wine.

T - Sweet and malty. it makes me think of something gooey and yummy.

M - Some carbonation. Kind of a sugary slickness to it. Tiny bit of alcohol. Some dryness at the back of my throat.

D - The name had me thinking Quaker Oatmeal sweetness but this is different and much more appropriate for my beer. Maybe some too sweet to have a few in just 1 sitting. Very enjoyable tho!

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark amber with just about a fingers width of tan head. Quickly subsides, there's some lacing here.

S- I was suprised by how much of a hop presence was in the nose, caught me off guard. Citrus hops most notable, with some floral as well. There's some tartness in here, perhaps sour apples? It smells sweet, but I'm not picking up the "brown shugga" at all. Interesting, definitely not what I was expecting, but very pleasant.

T- Picking up the brown sugar now. Sweet up front, really sweet actually. Apples, darkfruits, sweet malts, burnt sugar and caramel mix well with a good amount of hops that linger for awhile.

M- Thick and chewy, this one clings to the mouth and tongue for awhile.

D- Insanely drinkable at 9.84%, I can see the conparison to an American Barleywine. Highly recommended, I'm glad this is available in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of Riccymon
2.71/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured amber/brown from the bottle with about a finger of off-white head. Aroma was mostly hoppy, similar to a pale ale or IPA, and the taste came off the same way. I didn't notice a lot of balance to the beer--citrus, almost pineapple-like hoppiness accompanied by some sugar sweetness. I almost felt like I was drinking a boozey (the ABV was up-front) pineapple upsidedown cake. Mouthfeel may have been the high point, as Brown Shugga' drank like a nice, full brew. With the ABV as high and noticeable, however, I wouldn't want to drink many of these.

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Photo of techfed87
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a good sized head, quick to settle down. Color is dark brown, clear. Smell is pretty sweet, kind of reminds me of a beer I had once...Raison D'Extra! That had that same kind of caked sugary quality to it. And from the bottles, I'd guess both use quite a bit of brown sugar in them.

First sip is a bit less carbonated than what I was expecting it to be. Big malt presence, quite sweet, and a great hop balance to keep this from diving too far into the sugar wagon. Mouthfeel is also pretty rewarding.

All in all, a pretty good beer!

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Photo of andrewh995
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deliciously sweet and bitter at the same time while neither overpowers the other. The brown sugar is also pretty apparent. I can imagine that this one would age very well.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

For some reason I've never tried this one. Poured into a snifter. Nice head. Great dark amber color. Smells of sweet candy, grapefruit, and some dank hops as well. Flavor up front is fairly sweet with candy type flavors and then the fruity hops hit on the back end and balance this brew out nicely. Great flavor for a winter DIPA. Can't detect the near 10% ABV. This will definitely get a repeat visit to my fridge this winter.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle purchased at Green's in Atlanta into a pint glass.

A. Rod copper amber with a wispy white head that leaves generous wispy lacing. Good bubbles.

S. A sweet brown sugar smell, almost cloying, but altogethr pleasing. I can sense the malt, it is not overwhelmed but there is still a healthy hoppiness.

T. Oh god! This beer works. The brown sugar compliments the over hop/malt perfectly. I didn't think they could pull it off but they did,

M. A very creamy finish, but sweet to the point where the anv is well hidden. This does not taste like 9.9%!!

D. This is a timebomb!! It drinks like a session beer, but after 2 or 3 of these (and I mean the 12 ouncer's, not a bomber!!) you are hammered! This is a beer that should not be so easy to drink.

Summary: buy a 6 pack of this, hide the keys and enjoy!!

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Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden orange-ish color that pours a nice white head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass
S-caramel malt, some booze, barely any hops
T-kinda belgian caramel, sweet aftertaste, then booze
M-Nicely carbonated, smoothly flavorful, kinda sweet and then you taste the booze
O-Kinda like Double Bag on steroids, not my favorite Lagunitas, but for a 6 pack it's not a bad deal

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

I'm getting a sweet smell on top of a biscuit like malt scent. I'm not getting the hop scent that I would expect from a Lagunitas offering. This tastes much different than my normal beer selections. Interesting but sweet and slightly bitter at the same time. Alcohol content is fairly well hidden. I'm almost tasting some Euro skunk in the aftertaste, very yeast like. Having a hard time trying to compare this to anything else I've had. It's a big beer and creamy but not too carbonated. Afterthought.... this is some powerful stuff ! Upping my overall score by .25

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

This is my first Lagunitas beer. I got this one as an extra in a trade with srandycarter - THANKS!

I have wanted to try this one for some time now. Any pure cane sugar beer has to be good - right? I poured this one into a Duvel glass at around 45 degrees. I let it warm as I drink this beer to get a feel for the range. I was a little surprised at the clarity. I figured there would be little head retention and I was right - minimal lacing.

Aroma is of brown sugar, maple syrup, and wild honey - yummm. I was a little surprised (after the first taste) not to smell the hops. The hop taste is quite spicy.

The first taste was smooth and light and got heavier as the session wound on. You get that rich fullness like you're drinking something sugary without the big sugar flavor/rush/high feeling (hard to explain). This beer is quite sweet but it is balanced by the hop flavors. This one might even be better with about 6 months on it so the hops can cool off and the honey/sugar can come to the forefront - I know they are there.

Mouthfeel is really light at cold temperatures and increases viscosity exponentially as the beer warms. Right now at 52 degrees or so this beer is like syrup in the mouth (in a good way).

I would say this beer is extremely drinkable. There is no flavor that exceeds the average craft beer drinking palate. I would say that if you like a strong hop flavor you should drink this fresh, but if you would rather have the malty sweet flavors drink this with 6 months to a year on it. If I had 2 I'd age one for a year.

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

Very interesting beer. It is like an IPA but has that biting bitter hop finish and cloying sweetness of a barleywine. Almost a washed cheese rind flavor like trappist cheese. I can't tell if I really like it or not. Which may be why this beer has captured my attention. Its like stinky cheese; you don't particularly like it but keep coming back because of how different it is. I will be aging some bottles to see what happens. Good stuff but then again I'm not sure.

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Nice 3 finger creamy head with lots of laving. Mild malt and grass aroma. Big malt flavor with hop bite. Too much for me. This beer has a bit of a heavy oily feel.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours a very clear amber with minimal head and no lacing, though the beer is so syrupy it sticks to the sides of the glass. Has a barleywine style smell, with dark fruits like raisins, to begin with. This aroma is chased by loads of brown sugar notes. Tasting the beer for the first time you immediately notice the thick mouthfeel, though it's not unpleasant. Brown Shugga is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Alcohol is cleverly hidden, save for a little bit of a burn down in your chest after you drink it. The taste has a lot of different things going on. There are some minor fruit notes, but for me this is a lot like waffles and maple syrup. Mild citrus hops help lend balance to the beer. Oddly enough, even with all of the sugary notes this finishes quite dry, which leaves you wanting more. Despite the heavy body, it's really easy drinking. Call it the perfect fall beer.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown ale with a slight tan head that has good staying power.

Smell: Light sweetness with some citrusy hops. Not much from the nose here.

Taste: Once you get acclimated to the too powerful citrus hops, this beer has a nice sweet flavor. This beer, like all the Lagunitas brews I have tried, relies too much on the hops. The sweet nutty flavor and the added brown sugar sweetness would be better served up front more. Decent flavor, but not what I had hoped for.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness and good smoothness. Also, a nice warmth as you go. The hops linger a bit too long in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Easy to drink if you are looking for hops. Decent enough beer and hides its ABV well.

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Photo of laketang
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a deep caramel with a nice mocha head

I pick up banana and pineapple notes.

very big malt sweetness . a big beer with aggressive sweetness. caramel.

chewy, fruity finish.

for me, one is enough of this style in one sitting, but very tasty imo. nice treat.

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

Poured from bottle into Chimay glassware.

A - deep copper color that is slightly cloudy with very little 1/2 finger head that dissapated quickly leaving only small amounts of lace

S - Caramel/Brown Sugar with some Grand Mariner/Orange Liquer flavors coming through with a faint hops component.

T - Caramel and loads of it, nice bitterness to the hops on the mid/back palate, finishes with the grand mariner flavor on the back end.

M - Medium body, sufficient/light carbonation, alcohol is definately there and a dry finish.

D - This beer sounds all to good but is just way too sweet for my palate. Definately a big beer, but very sweet and the hops are super bitter making for a very dry piney finish. Too Sweet and Too Bitter, if that makes sense

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light amber to brown color. Big foamy head, off white with yellow highlights.

Roasted malt, a lot of hop aroma. Reminds me of SN Bigfoot a lot in the aroma.

Bitter pine hopping, slightly mouth coating slickness. A lot of residual sweetness. I don't really taste the brown sugar component, although I do pick it up in the aroma. Almost tastes spiced with cinnamon. Light cherry flavor too I believe.

Mouthfeel is pretty great. Full bodied, full flavored, slick and oily. Carbonation is great. Super job here.

A real tasty beverage. I have been less than impressed with Lagunitas previous to this beer. But this one gives me some respect for them, and makes me want more of their beer, and that certainly includes this example. A keeper.

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Photo of ReDave
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer, not what i expected. Big, nice hoppy residual taste, sweet up front, but nice bitter after-taste. Not really barley wine [to me at least], but not really anything else. Not for the faint at heart, or for those unwilling to try something different.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into a tulip glass. Heavy lacing with 2-finger head. Pours a dark amber brown. Beer was served around 50'.

Quite malty on the nose and of course, the brown sugar. Can make out some hops but not too much.

The malt sits heavy on the palate and is pretty sweet. Some hops step out which keeps a nice balance along with some sweet caramel & brown sugar. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel which in the usual Lagunitas fashion leaves some bitterness and a slight burn down the back of the throat.

The high alcohol presence is hidden well only really noticable when going down the throat. Snow is on the ground here in Central Ohio and this beer compliments it well, keeps you warm with a nice flavor. Another winner from the brewers in Petaluma.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown on the color. Small head retention, light hazy tan with minor lacing on the glass. The carbonation was good and gave the brew vibrance. I may have poured the beer to slow and would explain the small head. Sweet apples on the nose. The mouthfeel was full body with the carmel producing a sliky quality and a little spicy from the brown sugar that tingles on the tongue.
When this beer reaches warmer temp. is has a good bourbon flavor.
mixed with a splash of brown sugar. All the desciptions sound like this beer would be very sweet but the 55.1 ibu (hops) keep this in check. The big magic trick is how well the 9.9 abv. doesn't overwelm this well balanced Strong Ale.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,646 ratings.
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