Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lagunitas Brown Shugga'

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight's featured beer is Lagunitas Brown Shugga' (Say "LAH-GOO-KNEE-TUSS").  I think I've said it enough (that I'm a huge Lagunitas fan) and I typically buy a case or two of Brown Shugga' when it comes out (roughly in October).  
Recently a friend of mine (based on my recommendation) got a pint of Brown Shugga' at a bar and wondered how it is that I like this beer ("It is so sweet" - to which I said, "Well, duh...BROWN SHUGGA'). 
Moving right along (and from the Laguintas website): "Brown Shugga' How Come you Taste So Good?? Boatloads of Pure Brown Sugar in Each Batch, That’s How! The Rich, Roasty and Mysteriously Drinkable Ale might best be described as... Irresponsible. It Leaves a Lot of Stories in it’s Wake.  Brown Shugga' was originally a failed attempt to make our Olde GnarlyWine Ale way back in 1997. Boatloads of Brown Sugar were added to the boil in an attempt to rescue the batch. The result was quite different from the Olde GnarlyWine we were looking for, but the Accidental Release of Brown Shugga' that year was the beginning of an annual rampage caused by a beer that follows no style guidelines and can best be described as.... Irresponsible. Cheers! Thanks for your trust, and as always:Think Globally, Drink Locally!!"

Let's get started!

Appearance : Pours a rich, deep and full brown shugga' red with a nice and tight light tan head.  Good bubbles.
Aroma :  Brown shugga', rich caramel malts, sweet, a little spice and a hint of hops.
Taste :  Brown Shugga' is full and rich with sweet malts, brown sugar - the "barleywine gone wrong" is SO right.  Well balanced, smooth and creamy with citrusy hops in the finish. A warm aftertaste of alcohol, brown sugar and sugared fruits (figs, apples, grapes, dates, cranberries).
Overall :  An extremely well-rounded beer.  Sweet and sugary, yet extremely drinkable.  At 9.9% ABV give your keys up if you plan to have a few as this beer will slay you.

I'm finding myself reviewing beers that I have been drinking for years and one by one I will review each and every one of my favorites.  Brown Shugga' ranks among the best.


Mark Harvey

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