I had a Lagunitas Brown Shugga the other night, partly on the recommendation of my boss, Tim, and partly because it’s called Brown Shugga and why the hell would I *not* get a beer named that? Also, Lagunitas, for all their hair-on-fire-crazy-owner’s rants, make a pretty decent beer. Their IPA is really good.
Brown Shugga’s an interesting one. It’s “originally a failed attempt at our 1997 batch of Old GnarleyWine Ale”, which was a Barleywine style beer (high alcohol content, fruity, sweet, thick, and on the darker side). It came in a Lagunitas glass, not a typical pint or snifter, and was a deep caramel color, with a nice hop scent to it.
First sip was that it was appropriately named. It certainly was sweet, but not overpoweringly-so. It was also very smooth; I expected something this sweet to be a lot thicker, almost syrupy, but nope. The sweetness didn’t linger, either, not a lot of aftertaste, which is a good thing.
I liked it. I certainly wouldn’t make it a daily driver, but it would be a fantastic introduction to the barleywine style, I think. Check it out.