Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,567 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:
1,567
Ratings:
5,587
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
298
Gots:
1,285
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,567 | Ratings: 5,587
Photo of edward_boumil
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Nice light brown color, light tan head, very frothy and hangs around for a bit. Quite clear and bubbly
S: Smells quite nice, hard to describe though. Dark fruit notes present like that of a dobbelbock or dubbel. Has some floral hop notes as well, sort of spicy on the nose. Toast also present.
T: Really good, only complaint is it is a little over hopped. A lot of the nose repeats but its quite bitter, somewhat piney and resinous, though clean.
F: Very crisp, but very bitter which gives an astringency and takes away from what would be a more refreshing beer. Body is pretty light and smooth otherwise.
O: Pretty solid and I really like it. Will probably have this again if I see it.

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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 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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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got word that I was being released at three bars in my area on the same night, some sort of "release party..." Got there right around 8:30, and the bartender said I was the first one to try it. So the ice cold beer went into the shaker...

A - Amber body, decent head, pretty standard.

T - Fruity citrus hops stuck out, with some barleywine-like alcohol notes. Again, not very exciting...

T - Entry seemed to focus on the sweet alcohol. Cherry and orange flavors seemed off in the dry finish.

M - Very full and smooth mouthfeel. First thing about this beer I liked...

D - I don't know what it is about this beer, but it has never seemed to impress me. I love Lagunitas, and I want to like this beer, but no... Also, I get a little tired of bartenders asking me if there is something wrong with my beer when I am just waiting for it to warm up to something other than 38 F....

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Photo of mpedara429
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy and dark amber color. Two plus fingers of off white head. Sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: Sweet smell of toffee malt, raisins, and plums.

T: Nutty and earthy flavors backed by the sweetness described in the smell. Nice hop bite.

M: Medium body that is a bit creamy with medium carbonation.

O: A cool beer. It is labeled as a strong ale, but it kicks a bit like an IPA with it's fair share of hop bite and earthy flavor. I'm really digging the complexity of this one.

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Photo of mjryan
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber coloured, with a simple white head. Good retention and some lace. Aroma is very sweet and fruity. Flavour is very sweet, with a large hop presence. Bitterness tries to balance the sweetness, but loses in the end. Has a very full body with a moderate carbonation level. This is an intensely sweet beer, which is no supprise considering its called brown sugga and says something about sweet release on the label. The large hop presence was unexpected and really this beers saving grace for me. The hops, although muted by the huge amount of residual sugar in this beer, added another layer, that kept things from getting boring or nausiating. One is good in a night. Would make a great dessert beer.

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Photo of currysage1
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky burnt red, lots of yeast in suspension. light head that goes down to a skim and a ring.

Smell is of smoky carmel, dark sweet and complex, black pepper, alcohol twinge, vanilla extract, candied citrus peel.

Taste is brandy with carmel, almost a too burnt creme brulee, good hop bite that mixes well with the alcohol presence. Burnt/charred sugar are evident, dark grape, again with the black pepper.

Feel is heavy but not slick, very enjoyable before bed but could not have many more, this is a have one and move on type. Not to say I won't buy again.

 577 characters

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 Elimination
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the fact that they dialed the abv to 9.99

Pours a very classy clear looking brown/red, light shines right through, a little bit of a visible white head that falls away to the rim quickly.

Smell is light maple, molasses, faint citrus hops with grapefruit, lemon and orange notes. A wiff of brown sugar when pushing a little air into the nose, very sweet and malty overall. More hops than expected, but a pleasant surprise.

I really was not expecting this, strong up front bitterness those citrus notes do stand out but almost feeled candied. Right away reminds me of orange gummies covered in sugar, but as if they had been caramelized. Strong butterscotch notes, wiffs of pastry like delights, toffee and darkened sugar bring out the backbone. The bitterness and even caramel malt fall quick to a splash of almost super sweet raisin and plum.

Mouthfeel is a very excellent thick, really feels like something that is meant to and does have a lot of rich body. Sharp carbonation, that seems to tickle and play with the mouth.

drinkability is great, this is something meant to be sipped of course despite the very hidden abv, but at the same time a few in a night wouldnt be a bad thing.

 1,196 characters

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coca cola stream with off white head. Smell is pretty strong of hops, with lots of malt, and a sugar sweetness. There is a tinge of alcohol in the smell. Taste is well balanced between hops and malt, with a good aftertaste. Carbonation is high and is highly drinkable for 9.9%abv. I drank the first warm semi warm and it's still delicious.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz draft pour into a short goblet boasts a red tinged amber body floating start of near white bubbles.
Citrus hop aromas dominate with a grass background.
Malt joins evenly in flavor for a nice balance.
Mouth feel is bubbly and almost wet on the finish.
Restrained and tasty.

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Photo of Duster72
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby/amber color with very little head. Smell is malts, brown sugar, molasses, piney hops, and alcohol. Taste is primarily sweet matls and brown sugar/carmel. Surprisingly not too sweet or cloying. Perfect balance of sweet flavors and alcohol. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side, which is fine for the style. Crazy drinkable at ABV. Another excellent beer from Lagunitas, as I have grown accustomed to.

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Photo of garbercury
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Clear reddish hue, a little bit of lacing but not much head or retention.

S--Has the smell of a weak barleywine. Almost a medicinal smell to it.

T--Medicinal, bitter, strong alcohol aftertaste to be sure.

M--One of the better things, which is not really the way it should be.

D--This beer is strong to be sure. I like Lagunitas, good brewery. Worth a try if you enjoy strong ales, not a favorite though.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown Shugga pours as a clear, hazy, amber color with a touch of orange. A fluffy white head accompanies the pour and sticks around for a while.

The smell is a blend of sweet malts, hops, and a hint of a floral aroma.

On the sip you get hops up front, but those quickly give way to the sweet malty tones brought on by the brown shugga that’s been added to the brew. Once the sweet notes have passed, hop oil lingers but doesn’t overpower.

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Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite pint glass

A - Beer pours a dark down color which produces a thin off white head that dissolves very quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

S - Plenty of brown sugar in the aroma hence the name. There are also hints of caramel, toffee and even an citrus like hop aroma on board in this sugary beer.

T - Tastes like a caramel chocolate candy bar with some finishing hops on the back end. Typically beers like this can be too sweet but I find this beer very well balanced and not too sweet which is a positive.

M - Moderate carbonation that is even a bit creamy. There is a bubbly slightly hopped finish to the beer on the back end.

D - A very drinkable beer but beware of the high 9.84% ABV on board which is very well hidden but will certainly catch up if you are not careful. Nice beer I like it!

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Photo of Douglas88
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from trade with Ty. Pours a light brown with little to no head. The taste is mostly a sweet smooth malt, some hops, citrus, cinnamon and apples, and some brown sugar. It's a great mix that really blends together nice. No real notice of the alcohol. An easygoing drink with a lot to like.

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Photo of boomer31
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange and transparent. Nice white head, perhaps a slight tan head. Barely sticks to the glass

S - Caramel malt and hints of floral hops.

T - Sweet malt hits right up front then the grassy hops. A dry piney finish . I remember this beer being more sweet last time I had it but the bitterness is plesant. Perhaps a touch of sugar in the taste as well.

M - A nice balance of rich malts make this stick to your tongue just like the glass

D - Pretty good balance between big hop and malt. Again I recall this being more sweet in past releases but the bitterness is nice

Overall a solid brew especially for the price point...not surprising for a Lagunitas brew. A month or so might do this wonders but fresh is a nice balance of hop and malt

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L (4.25) – Very nice amber color. This is honestly my favorite color. Nice little head too.

S (4.5) – Smells great. You really get that piney, bitter smell that you want.

T (4) – Tastes really good. Not quite what I was expecting by the style or name. I do not get much sweet or alcohol, but it is good.

F (4) – Has nice mouthfeel. Goes down well.

O (4.25) – I’m kinda new to Lagunitas stuff, and had heard a lot about this one. I thought it was good, but not top shelf, run all over town to buy, type of beer. Nice beer, and I’d add to my rotation.

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

A: Nice amber brown. With a very strong head; 3 fingers high and holding.

S: Nutty! And vanilla, hops, and a little alcoholy. Maybe the slightest hint of citrus (orange) from the hops.

T: Sweet, like powdered sugar sweet. Nutty! Maple syrup and honey and vanilla. Followed by subtle hops (on the tip and edges of the tongue). Very balanced. The sweetness really balances the high alcohol.

M: Nice carbonation. Very balanced. Coats the tongue well, and gives the tongue a nice zip afterwards.

D: Considering the alcohol content, this drink is very smooth. Feels nice, the aroma lingers, and the taste stays. Not bad at all!

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

12oz Bottle, purchased from Total Wines in Roseville, into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a light brown with a white/cream head ~3 fingers. There is a little of bit of lacing of the head from top to bottom.

S: Brown sugar primarily, with a mild hop aroma and hints of its alcohol content

T: Simply put, a hopped gnarleywine. The heavy sugar/malt taste is evident, though it is balanced with not too subtle (though not too heavy) hops.

M: slightly sticky and a little heavy, though not at all unenjoyable

D: A sipper for sure, it is a regular staple in my fridge door when I can get it.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,587 ratings.
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