Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
5,685 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): 9.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
5,685
Reviews:
1,591
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
299
Gots:
1,336
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,685 |  Reviews: 1,591
Photo of falloutsnow
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Piccadilly on Neil, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, released in early winter 2012
Glass: Tulip

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' is a strongly hoppy (US west coast style) ale with more caramel flavor than most DIPAs offer. While it could easily qualify as one, it instead lands in the "strong ale" catch-all, equally fine. The beer is quite drinkable, but I found it to be a somewhat generic version of the "highly hopped, high ethanol" west coast style beers I've had in the past. Thus, while tasty, I was never surprised or stricken with the particular character that defines this beer relative to others. Might I try it again when very fresh? Sure.

Pours approximately a 1cm tall head of dirty white bubbles, small in size, with average retention of one to two minutes. The head, as it falls, leaves some thick washes of lace along the innards of the glass, a variety of solid walls of sticky foam to mixed spiderweb-like patterns. The head eventually wastes away to a fine cap of foam atop the body of the beer. The body itself is a strong copper-orange color, with light bringing out brighter orange-yellow hues. The beer is somewhat hazy (perhaps 30% opaque), but carbonation is still readily visible through it, quite actively rising from the center of the glass.

Aroma of fairly substantial caramel and its attendant sweetness, though I wouldn't describe it as reminding me of brown sugar. This is joined to some tropical fruit and mild citrus, from ale yeast or hops, who knows. There's also mild pepperiness and faint ethanol lingering in the background. In general, pleasing and appetizing, if not particularly unique.

In general, this tastes pleasant if you appreciate US west coast-style, well-hopped beers (and I do), with a substantial malt backbone, but it's also not particularly different from many others in the same hop intensity and ethanol content categories. Front of palate is of heavy caramel sweetness with hints of hop or yeast-derived fruit esters and minor bitterness. Mid-palate finds the hops slightly taking the main focus, with bitterness, grapefruit, woodsy/herbal, and mild tropical fruit all being as though filtered through a screen of caramel sweetness and flavor. Back of palate notices sweet, heavy caramel notes, ethanol, and herbal/woodsy/green hop flavors with strong bitterness. Aftertaste focuses on bitterness, mild caramel sweetness, and lingering ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium to medium-low intensity, leading to a beer that is slightly foamy on the palate, but never quite fizzy. Ethanol is felt primarily in the nostrils after each sip, slightly burning the back of the throat as well. Closes out semi-dry, with modest residual stickiness along the palate.

 2,741 characters

Photo of Massbmx
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Copper in color with 2 fingers of off white head that leaves a great amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- Tons of pine and citrus.

Taste- In the front is a carmely bready malt flavor that is quickly cut down by a piney hop finish. Slight earthy tones throughout.

Mouthfeel- Very nice and thick for the style.

Overall- A very odd take on an American Strong Ale. To heavily hopped in my opinion. Various things to both love and hate about this beer.

 511 characters

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Brewski
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.32/5  rDev +8%

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

A - Pour a dark orange with a one-finger off-white head. Heavy amount of lacing.

S - Citrus hops and caramel malts. Aroma is fairly sweet.

T - Sweet with lots of caramel malts and brown sugar. Good amount of citrus and pine in the finish.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth creamy mouthfeel.

O - Another excellent brew from Lagunitas. This is a very drinkable beer for 9.9% ABV. Exactly what an american strong ale should be.

 447 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a dark amber bordering on cola with a big white head.

Aroma is malty alcohol lotta biscuit to it.

Taste is a very strong hoppy barleywine. Similar to fresh Bigfoot.

Good, but I'd kinda like to see the hops integrated more thoroughly.

 300 characters

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Brewing Company - Brown Shugga', poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours copper ruby amber with a good sized soapy head that retains quite well. Glorious lacing.

Smell - Hoppy, red malts, and some booze.

Taste - Hoppy citrus orange and resiny with a blast of hot booze.

Mouthfeel - Almost heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Hot and boozy. Drinkable and quite dangerous haha.

Overall - Solid brew, a kick in the face. Strong ale with a nice juicy hoppy blast. Recommend.

 493 characters

Photo of mecmd
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MKrauss
3.29/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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 Prospero
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of kevanb
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a really wonderful copper color, hues of amber, burgundy and orange when struck by the light and atop rests a really nice bone colored head, just under two fingers high that has great retention, a nice layer of froth always hangs around with a great web of lacing left behind. The aroma is nice, lots of rich caramel malt, sweet brown sugar, sticky piney hops with some nice juicy tropical fruit, potent alcohol and sweet maple syrup. The balance of hops to malts is really nice, but the strong alcohol presence is a bit disappointing. The hops really jump out on the tongue with a really nice bite of pine and earthy bark flavors but the beer really brightens up with nice citrus and tropical mango and pineapple like flavors that in a weird way blend well with the sweet rich flavors that the malts bring out. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar and sweet alcohol with a touch of maple are all detectable and well integrated. The body is nicely carbonated has a nice feel in the mouth, a bit lighter than I would’ve expected but it coats the mouth well without being cloying and has a nice crisp finish.

Verdict: A well done beer, I am surprised how well the hoppy elements melded with the malty and sweeter aspects which was really pleasant. This can definitely satisfy on a cold day while not being a rich, overly malty seasonal beer. That being said, I am more excited about the return of Lagunitas Sucks.

 1,421 characters

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

From notes taken at brewery yesterday, where it was listed at 9.9% ABV:

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate colour with impressive head and lacing. Thick but not oily mouthfeel, remarkably "normal" given the high ABV. Aroma of sweet, roasted malts with caramel tones and some plum or other fruitcake spices. These aromas translate into the finish, where I did not expect the almost overwhelming sweetness in the finish.

Overall struck me more as a sweet and malty barley wine rather than a strong ale. Glad to have tried it, but did not order a second.

 552 characters

Photo of emptyglassagain
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

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

Poured into a snifter at House of 1000 Beers, first time grabbing a bottle here to drink. Pours a beautiful amber red with an off-white/relatively tan pillowy head, good retention and lacing. Smell reminds me of Lagunitas Sucks from last year -- sweet and hoppy, with a resinous malt character that is reminiscent of other Lagunitas offerings, but more pronounced here. Flavor is similar but super sweet, which is good but some may find it over the top. Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth, with little hop bitterness, but very good. Over all this is a very good beer, and makes me realize just how much Lagunitas means to me. Cheers.

 628 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber color with two fingers of dense, fluffy head. Head retention is very good, lacing is extremely good.

S: Overripe pineapple, citrus hops, and sweet sugary caramel dominate the aroma. Not great.

T: Taste is better than aroma, but still not great. Toffee and caramel sweetness are quite strong with the same overripe pineapple and a bit of piney hops. Hip bitterness remains fairly strong, but is obviously a bit faded.

M: On the thick side with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The faded hops flavor here is hard to get past. I enjoyed the malty sweetness, but I got an overripe pineapple flavor that lingered long after swallowing the beer.

 703 characters

Photo of Fusebuddy
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of RobertColianni
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

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

Photo of Chingringo
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

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

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,685 ratings.
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