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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,732 Ratings
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,014
Reviews:
1,604
Ratings:
5,732
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
303
Gots:
1,362
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,732 |  Reviews: 1,604
Photo of Cooker_stp
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ocelot2500
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with tight off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of caramel malt and piny hops.

Tastes of big hops with a solid malt base. Hops are citrus and pine with plenty of bitterness. Malts are sweet and add caramel and toffee notes. Some fruitiness comes through. Alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

 378 characters

Photo of albern
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the easiest 9.9% ABV beer you will find. It pours a thick, syrupy, relatively clear ruby amber color with a slight off white head. Not much lacing or retention. The nose on the beer is very sweet brown sugars, sweet malts, a liqueur like cherry flavor, and estery and oily hops. The nose is quite amazing.

This is a thick, full bodied beer, very sweet, very sticky, but loaded with very nice oily and estery hops that are delightful. There is a very thick, sweet, caramelized maltiness, there is a warming booziness, but liqueur like sweet. The joy in this beer is that the piney and estery hop balances so well against the sweet, but slightly boozy caramel and candied malts. The two complement each other so well that this is not a harsh hop biting beer nor is it a over the top ABV beer with a throaty burn. The beer is a sipper, but this is well worth seeking out.

 878 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Found this on tap at Old Chicago in Peoria!

A - Clear amber brew topped with a tight one finger white head of really fluffy and crispy-looking foam. The head reminds me of that white stuff that people put underneath their Christmas villages.

S - Wow! Super-hoppy and very sugary too. I can smell the brown sugar for sure, but this is pretty much all about the big Northwestern hops. Cascade maybe?

T - This is really piney, a little bit citrusy, and very solidly malted too. The brown sugar is there, but again...hop city! The malts live up to the very demanding nature of the hops and serve to make this crazy brew balanced....if you can call a nearly 10% abv beer brewed with brown sugar balanced.

M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated...crisp, but never distracting from the flavor. Really sugary and boozy. This is balanced, moderately dry on the finish, and somewhat oily. A very solid and structured brew!

D - Sobriety be damned! I want more of this glorious stuff! This is really an outstanding brew....could take the place of a brandy after dinner, but it's balanced enough to drink a few of if you aren't planning on operating any heavy machinery in the next few hours!

 1,181 characters

Photo of jrfehon33
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Jlabs
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Westyn
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gww1864
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kamikazeokami
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of CreightonSM
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of NJB145
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of scotorum
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear deep amber with a huge beige head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and very dense lacing.

s: Pine. Later, some vinegar. Uh oh.

t: Funky spoiled fruit under sharp hops. Fortunately the flavor does not linger through the dry finish. OK it's almost 10% ABV and does not burn the back of the throat much. But really. that and its sexy good looks are about all it has going for it.

m: Moderate with great body,.

o: Maybe I got a bad batch. Just not going for the funky dirty feet vinegar aroma and flavor. An isovaleric acid in the hops issue? Whatever it is, it's the first bad Lagunitas I have had. Reminiscent of my first Brooklyn Monster barleywine, which was like drinking liquid dirty gym socks (fortunately later bottles of that were better).

Not the expected "sweet release" the bottle label promised by a longshot. Love the appearance, which screamed quality. All downhill from there. If it was any worse it would have been a drain pour. Actually, it may be very soon.

If the others in the sixpack are better, I'll be back to re-review.

UPDATE 11/13/13: Had a second bottle tonight and fortunately it lacked the offending vinegar aroma and taste which caused me to drainpour the last few ounces of the first. However I did still get a dirty socks odor, and yet much more caramel malt and brown sugar in the flavor. Consequently upgrading my rating, which was a: 4.75 s: 3.25 t: 2.75 m: 4.0 and overall 2.75, ave. 3.08, to the above.

UPDATE 11/21/13: Third bottle from the sixpack lacked the vinegar and sock odor. Not sure what to make of that except the added sugar may result in some instability remaining in the bottle? Anyway this was even better but I won't bother raising the rating again unless the rest of the lot proves to be as good or better than this one. Hoppier but almost as malty as slightly cheaper ales I enjoy such as Shipyard Chamberlain and Geary's Pale Ale, but the higher ABV and somewhat meatier body makes the extra couple of bucks per sixpack for Shugga worth it as a nightcap.

UPDATE 12/19/13: Can't believe I waited this long to have another from the sixpack, but unfortunately this one is similar to the first, except the vinegar/dirty feet smell and taste are subdued enough that it is not as close to being a drain pour. Still, far from the promised "Sweet release." Funny how one bottle can be ok and yet another from the very same sixpack can be so much worse.

UPDATE 4/7/17: Despite obvious issues with the first sixpack three and a half years ago, this has become a personal staple., along with it's "little brothers" Undercover and Sumpin Sumpin. The flavor since has been reliably excellent and unique. Raising the ratings is long overdue, from smell 3.25 to 3.75, taste from 4-4.5, and overall from 4-4.5.

 2,839 characters

Photo of Yancey82
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwswigs
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of TrojanRB
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of ms11781
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been told Lagunitas uses a Julian dating code on it's bottles. Assuming that is true this beer was bottled on October 6, 2010. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orangish copper color with a 1 finger white head that end up leaving just a thin white cap for the duration. Pretty good lacing down the glass.

Nose is hoppy at first, surprisingly so, with citrus, piny and resiny notes, yet it smells just as sweet at the same time. Has a caramel sweetness that seems almost sugary.

Taste is very sweet at first, some caramel malt, toffee and, not surprisingly, brown sugar. Not as hoppy as the nose, but they are definitely there. I got some citrus in the nose but the hops in each sip are of the piny/resiny variety with a hint of bitterness. Also a slight warming of the back of the throat from some alcohol.

Thick, full body. Medium carbonation keeps it from being even thicker and syrup-like. Smooth finish despite the alcohol warmth.

Goes down smooth enough but the sweetness might keep from enjoying more than one in a sitting. Even with the slight warming at the end of each sip the 10%ABV is well hidden.

 1,138 characters

Photo of timmy2b
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of JDizzle
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

It's off red copper color looks real nice. Not much head.

It smells sweet and hoppy. Perfume like?

The taste is a lot like the smell. It's hoppy and bitter with a nice sweet malt bill. It's nothing special, but pleasant.

Mouthfell is medium. I thouhgt it would be sweeter and thicker.

Not bad...

 329 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The color is a deep, clear amber with a sticky white head. On the nose is burnt brown shugga' and a hint of orange marmalade. The taste follows the nose, and that is a good thing. The flavors are sweet and phenolic with weak citrus notes. Brown Shugga is medium bodied and easy drinking. I first had this at a festival and the server described it as a Barley wine, but I agree with BA it fits better in the strong ale category. This beer is very enjoyable.

 516 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,732 ratings
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