Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
5,808 Ratings
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,808 |  Reviews: 1,625
Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of jooler
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great hoppy smell and look but tastes pretty sweet with a very noticeable alcohol taste. Lagunitas sucks is a lot better

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of craigbelly
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bzach
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of kdown
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phoodcritic
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Brolo75
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chingringo
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of TooGood
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another phenomenal brew for Lagunitas, best looking beer I've seen. The 9.8% abv can really sneak up on you as it's such a smooth and tasty drinker.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, dark amber with a nice aroma of caramel/brown sugar, with notes of citrus and pine as well.

As far as taste goes, the west coast hops are evident, but far from overpowering and the brew goes down smooth. A bit of alcohol in the aftertaste but nothing too strong despite the 10% abv. Definitely not overly bitter or too much alcohol present in the taste.

Has a thick body, and is a nice beer that I could sip on for quite some time. Overall is amazingly drinkable and I would go back for again.

A good interpretation of the style for sure.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint.

A - Nice amber-copper color, clear, huge 3-finger head.
S - Pretty bold aroma, citrusy, almost dry.
T - Very hoppy, citrusy flavors. Not as sweet as I feared. Yet fairly smooth. Does not burn, but you feel the alocohol as you get maybe halfway through the beer. Reminds me a bit of a mild barleywine.
M - Medium to full bodied. would be better IMO if malts were more forward.
O - A well done beer that just isn't my favorite style. I'll drink the remaining from my six (I might even experiment with mixing, who knows), but I can handle just one at a time. not because of the ABV but because of the hops.

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Photo of grahamboudreaux
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Eddiehop
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a light amber with a 2 finger light beige head. Huge clumps and trails of lacing litter that glass.

S- caramel, dark fruits, biscuit, citrus, and pine.

T- sweet caramel, citrus rind, toasted malts, and bitter pine and citrus at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy with slightly dry finish from the bitterness.

O- First time trying this beer and a very tasty strong ale. Almost a hoppy imperial red ale that has some dark fruit notes along more sweetness. Glad I picked up a 6 pack.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love anytime I can try a Lagunitas brew. When I think American strong ales, Lagunitas and stone are the one two punch for me. Poured into a pint glass.

A- pours a copper orange color with a good head that resides leaving lacing and a slight head of foam. A hearty looking beer with good carbonation racing to the top

S- sweet sugar, caramel, molasses hops that dance with some piney hops presense. Very sweet and welcoming with the strong scent profile. The brown sugar is very unique in this stong ale presentation. The hop presence compliments it well

T- big time sweet!The malt is very sweet and strong at the same time. The brown sugar is the star of the show, yet there is still a hopped up flavor of pine and a dry finish. Very good taste profile. The strange part is the alcohol is not too crazy either

M- medium bodied and syrupy. Good flavor all over the mouth

D- this is dangerous! The combination of flavor and lack of the 9.999% alcohol presence make this delicious. I do think this is may be a one or two bottle doing the trick. Nevertheless, it's pretty drinkable

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Photo of JTomczak
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Honeybourne
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12-17-09
Cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy reddish/brown sugar color, 1 finger of foam, 1 finger of a lacing ring around the glass. Great carbonation is present and shown through entire review

S - Citrus notes with pine mixed in, hop heavy at first

T - A big hop hello when first tried but mellows pretty quick, brown sugar taste and smooth but a little dry aftertaste due to the hops

M/D - I enjoyed this brew quite a bit, a brew I can drink throughout the night. I medium bodied brew that is sweet and smooth, but dry at the end, a good well rounded brew in my opinion. I will for sure have again. Another seasonal so stock up if you can find it.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz stubby with my Sierra Nevada Balloon glass.
Notes from 11/10/13

A: Dark coppery caramel amber body with some ruddy orange hues and a slight haze effect. Thick finger of egg white suds adorn the glass top never full subsiding. Generous swaths of lace and sticky dots paint the glass all the way down the drink.

S: Gooey caramels and brown sugar over lightly toasted bread. Similar to a light molasses character. Somewhat akin to an American style barley-wine with a firm hop presence of pine resins, earth, spice and dank herbals. Alcohol is slightly evident in the nose. Nice overall with the brown sugar really coming through in the nose.

T: The brown sugar is apparent providing an overall sweetness to the beer add some bready malts and touch of caramelized fig fruitiness to the base. There is a nice punch of moderate hop bitterness to the beer that brings pine, spice, and herbals with some lesser notes of citrus fruit. The alcohol is warming and very present. Almost harsh in a way that too many of these bad boys will leave your head a poundin’. Not entirely balanced but the flavors are great. One bad ass little brew with some big barley-wine tendencies.

M: The mouth feel is moderate leaning towards heavy with a bit of light syrupy thickness. Has a nice frothy texture form the carb with a modest bittering and light drying efforts on the finish. Warming alcohol on exhalation with a slight resinous linger.

D: Brown Shugga is one beer that don’t fuck around. It packs a wallop in both flavor and alcohol. It is a little unbalanced but in a good way like one would expect from a Strong Ale. The malts dominate over a modest hop kick and the brown sugar comes through nicely in both flavor and aroma. Both tasty and robust. I would say one could cellar this but why wait. A great seasonal classic.

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Photo of jdense
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage cellared bottle, poured during Twelve Beers of Christmas tasting 12/22/09.

Dark brown body, 3/4 finger tan head, nice lacing. Huge sweetness in the nose which masks the hops. Taste is sweet, with some roasted malts present, a bit too syrupy for me. Not the most drinkable of beers at this ABV and sweetness, though I must note two years of cellaring mellowed out the alcohol quite a bit. A definite late night sipper. Not for the faint of heart.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,808 ratings