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Ugly Pug Black Lager - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

437 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 24
Gots: 82 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: assurbanipaul on 12-18-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 437 | Reviews: 168
Reviews by tatoodkelt:
Photo of tatoodkelt
2.43/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this one in trade from gramatton, thanks again man!

Consumed 12/15/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with ruby edging when held up to the light. Topped off by a one finger soapy, khaki colored head that faded almost instantly to a patchy skim.

S- Smoked brown bread with an odd almost metallic skunk note sneaking in.

T- The metallic skunk has almost completely pushed aside any other flavors and picked up a little nail polish note along the way.

M- Medium bodied and smooth.

D- I only got about a third of the way through this one before it went down the drain. I'm assuming it was a bad batch and if I ever get to try it again I'll update the review.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Mahogany without much head.

Nose is toasty burnt malt, which isn't bad for the style.

Taste is bitter chocolate malt and roasty with a hint of caramel sweetness.

It could use a bit more heft in the body, but overall a tasty brew.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate. The flavor is more of the same. Other than the roasted malt and chocolate malt, I don't get much else other than a little bit of cream. The beer has a light to medium mouthfeel with the beer being a little bit watery. Medium carbonation. The beer is fairly drinkable and one of the better beers from Rahr's.

Photo of Dizzy
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, almost black with garnett highlights when held up to light. Tan head quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is roasted malts. Taste is chocolate & coffee, finish is roastiness and bitterness. Medium to light bodied, lots of carbonation. This is a good one, a good session beer and not as sweet as some Schwarzbiers. This is a regular in my fridge.

Photo of whoneeds8
2.46/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

For a Black Lager, this is pretty watered down. It's drinkable, especially for someone who doesn't like a strong taste. But for someone looking for a complex taste, this is pretty spare.

There is a smokey taste, with a hint of licorice. The flavor goes away fast, there's not much of an after taste to it. There's really nothing to it, which IMO is the wrong way to make a black lager.

Photo of OStrungT
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark brown color, with a fluffy light brown head. the head fades slowly, leaving a good lacing.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. It smells nutty also. It has a slight grainy aroma also. A very subtle coffee aroma is present.

This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. Coffee and sweet malt. Nutty. Some grain mixes in aw well. Maybe a very slight chocolate flavor.

This beer is slightly thin, but crisp. It leaves a nutty aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It seems low in alcohol, and the flavor is not aggressive.

Overall: Nice beer. A little boring, but not bad at all.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Recieved from ottovon!

Pours to a dark fairly clear brownish. There was a small white at first, but disappear quickly.

Smells like chocolate and roasted malts.

Can taste the smokey roasted malts, but no chocolate in taste. Kind of a earth grass flavor kind of different.

Nice light body very little carbonation.

A very average Schwarzbier, but not bad.

Photo of skillerified
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice brown cocoa color fills the glass. Nice two finger head, creamy and slightly tanned, fades to a lasting cap. Some nice burgandy tones around the edges. Very clear, you can almost see through it.

Cocoa powder, coffee beans and dark chocolate make up the first whiff. Slightly vinous character. Seems to have a bit of that German sulphuric and/or medicinal quality, a Rahr trademark you could say. A bit of a bright fruity hoppy note breaks through here and there. Much more than I expected here.

Light and slightly fruity. Definitely sweet. Not a lot of destinctive flavors here, but what you do get is tasty. Some darker flavors, but nothing burnt. Dark berries with a mild milk chocolate coating, as if they were just dipped really. The mild carbonation prick is welcome, keeps it from feeling too light. Just ever so slightly bitter on the finish, astringent like coffee. Damn tasty brew.

The best of Rahr that I've had yet. Easy drinking. Definitely a keeper.

Photo of Melchizedek
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not real impressed on the pour--I went through the better part of a six of this and had a hellish time getting any kind of head to rise. What head there was was pretty thin and soapy-looking, and didn't last. The color's good--dark brown, much like coffee (especially with the nonexistent head).

The smell isn't potent, but it's definitely nice; roasted grain and coffee hints dominate. The Pug is slick in the mouth, a bit thin (although maybe I'm displaying some stout bias). Not a lot of complexity to the flavor, mostly those roasty notes and earthy grains with minimal hop; there's a bit of a mineral, salty bitterness in the background, giving a mineral-water impression despite the lack of noticeable carbonation. As it warms, the coffee notes become more distinct and appreciable, especially in the aftertaste.

The drinkability of this brew is definitely its saving grace; I could happily take down three or four without a thought, and its flavor is pleasant enough to enjoy like a coffee, without necessarily pairing it with a meal. It's unpretentious enough to be a great gateway beer, I would guess.

Note about head problems: I have had this from a keg and experienced none of the above troubles with the head. From everything I hear, my particular six looks to be the anomaly.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to assurbanipaul for this bit of Texas.
Pours a clear deep, dark amber with a small off white head that melts to a ring of lace.
Aroma is burnt caramel and coffee.
Taste is toasted amber malt and burnt caramel with a touch of coffee in the end. It finishes with a nice hop bitterness that dries the mouth as you swallow. Nothing in the taste dominates or struggles for control..everything tastes and feels just wonderfully balanced.
Maybe my favorite swartzbier

Photo of TownDunkel
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When an ugly pug is on a beer, you must try it.

Appearance - A beautiful dark brown to silky black that has a nice milk chocolate head

Smell - Great hints of coffee, hazelnut, chocolate and some caramel

Taste - The flavor is not nearly as good as the smell unfortunately. The taste is of light coffee and licorice. It seems watered down

Mouthfeel - Where the taste lacks, the mouth feel and smell perk it back up.

Overall - A nice drinker but really lacking the taste I was expecting

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has been awhile since I've reviewed a beer and what better beer to review than one brewed locally in Fort Worth, TX from Rahr & Sons Brewing? I've had their Ugly Pug many times before and I think it's a pretty damn good black lager or schwarzbier.

Ugly Pug is not an ugly beer to look at. The head is very bubbly and off-white that leaves a fair amount of lacing while drinking. The beer looks black normally but if put up to the light it is a dark bronze with a little bit of particulates floating around. Take note that there is some sediment on the bottom of the bottle so make sure you get it in your glass!

Ugly Pug has a lack of a dog smell. Instead, it smells significantly of roasted malts, chocolate, and is bready. There is a little bit of hops in there as well.

While the flavors might not be complex in Ugly Pug, I think they are tasty and blend well. The two dominant flavors are chocolate and roasted malts. It makes this beer have a smoothness, it'd be better described as being creamy, to it that's not found in most lagers. Roasted coffee notes mix with the chocolate well and lager yeasts make their way in later on.

The mouthfeel is light, but a bit heavier than a regular lager, with medium carbonation.

While the Ugly Pug has flavors (chocolate, roasted malts, and chocolate) that are most commonly associated with heavier beers like porters or stouts, Ugly Pug remains a very drinkable beer.

The reason I like Ugly Pug is because of its "heavier" flavors while remaining a very drinkable beer. I don't find it to be a watery beer either. I definitely recommend drinking it after it has warmed a bit.

Photo of MASPuros
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a PIF from GregSVT. Thanks brother!

Appearance - Nice clear brown appearance with minimal head around the edges.

Smell - Smells bready and malty. Some smoke

Taste - Bitter sweet cocoa flavor that fades into bread and a little peat smoke.

Mouthfeel - Light, clean, flavorful and refreshing

Drinkablity - Easy to drink with a very pleasant aroma and flavor character. Great session beer, I would recommend this one for you malt heads.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Phoenix2443

pours dark cola black, quick fizzy cocoa cream head. very light retention.

sweet roasted malts, floral hops, a touch of licorice and dark fruits

light charcoal roasted malts all around. sweetness through out. light floral and citrus notes that linger in and out. bit of a bitter dry finish.

moderate carbonation, moderate body. feels full but drinks light.

a decent schwarbier. quite well rounded. nothing really stood out but everything complimented each other. i would drink this again, a fine example of the style.

Photo of russpowell
4.16/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Based on notes from my april visit to san antonio..

Pours mahogany with 1.5 fingers of fluffed-up head. Good head retention & very good lacing

S: Sweet caramel

T: Caramel &roasted malts up front. Finished roasty, with a little iron & a little smokeyness

MF: Light/medium bodied with a little slickness & good carbonation levels

Very drinkable & very nice take on the style

Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby brown in hue, clear and shimmering, the liquid looks well enough. Off-beige head, at the apex the foam was over two-fingers in height. Rocky. Head retention was very good; it slowly faded to a chucky, rough-looking cap. A smaller cap did last the entire consumption, impressive. The subsequent lacing was spotty and unorganized but it was prevalent nevertheless. This is a good-looking beer!

The nose was graced with a soft sweetness in the form of caramel and coffee. Plus there were some toasted grains. Grassy hops with an earthy residue. I swear there is a kiss of smoke too. I like the nose because it, more or less, says exactly what I’d expect a Black Lager to proclaim. I do wish the potency was louder and I would have like a rounder aroma. Still, as is, I found the bouquet to be well-constructed and inviting.

Tasty. I’d be lying if I said I’ve tried a lot of Schwarzbiers because I haven’t. Based on what I’ve tried, I’d say Ugly Pug is the pick of the litter. If nothing else, it fits what I think a Schwarzbier is supposed to be. Minimal roasted qualities, I detected some smoked earth, some faint coffee, and a smattering of caramel. Again the toasted grains are noticeable. Grassy hops. There is a fair amount of bitterness, as to be desired. The aftertaste is long, especially for a lager because otherwise this is a clean beer. I do like how it won’t let me forget what I just swallowed. Like I said, this beer is tasty.

The mouthfeel doesn’t do much for me. It is not too thin (or too beefy) but it feels lackluster. Low carbonation, but it fits this beer well enough. The mouthfeel is good, don’t get me wrong… but I would have like something else here. What, exactly, I don’t know.

This is a very drinkable Schwarzbier; I enjoyed every sip. If this were a local, I would quaff it often. It is flavorful and easy to drink… what more do you want in a beer? Nothing. Give me a six-pack and a glass and I am sound as a pound. Thanks assurbanipaul. Tasty beer. Great label. Thanks. Try one!

Photo of scootny
3.22/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle from stumac. 12 oz. into my Brooklyn tulip tumber. A cola colored liquid with a nice one finger head. A touch of lace for a moment as it recedes. A clear brew that shows no carbonation activity.

Smell is light roasted grain, malt, and fruity yeast.

Taste is light roasted malt, some fruity appleness and a hint of soap. Mild hops in the finish. Lacks intensity a bit.

Mouthfeel is a tad light to me. Carbonation is nice but something seems lacking, Mostly roasted weight.

Drinkability is nice but it suffers from the feeling that the beer is a little light. Not bad at all, just no something special.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in Dallas just before I went to the American Airlines Center to watch the Blackhawk's first game of the season. (Oct 7)

It came in an ice cold bottle and was accompanied by a frozen mug. I had to let it warm up a bit.

As with most schwarzbiers you are going to get a dark beer that is not too heavy but not too light. And I think Ugly Pug lived up to the style. It had all the malty characteristics one would expect to find in a dark beer. It was roasty and toasty. I was expecting a little bit more, but I was happy with what I got.

My only real complaint was that it was a little bit too carbonated for my taste. However, it's ease of drinkability made this easy to overlook.

This will probably be my go-to brewery whenever I find myself in Texas.

Photo of goochpunch
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Houston Flying Saucer.

Dark ruby body that, in the relatively low-lit bar, could be mistaken for black with an off-white, moderately sized, and creamy head. Smells clean with some grain and black malt. Taste is really about the same and fails to really impress. Mouthfeel was of pleasant body, but could've used more carbonation. Kind of got tired of this about 3/4 of the way through the pint.

I might chalk this up to it being from a possibly not-too-fresh keg, or perhaps this is just one of those beers I like better from the bottle.

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

At Salt Lick BBQ. Bottle is Julian dated (01615) Jan 16, 2015.

Color is black initially and dark reddish brown in the light. Thin layer of khaki foam that parts after the first couple sips. Aroma is mild with a light amount of roast. Taste is lightly bitter and roasty, feels mildly astringent. Dry with zero sweetness, vague carob and ash. Light dry roast lingers in the aftertaste. Overall it's lightness is an asset when paired with heavier food like BBQ.

Photo of Caj1
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

I was kind of excited to try this beer after a couple of acquaintances recommended it to me, and while it was alright, I wouldn't drink this as a sipping beer; I probably expected a little too much.

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass, the amount of foam in this beer was almost too much; almost every bottle in my six pack actually foamed up out of the neck of the bottle if I didn't pour it immediately. It foamed up quite well with even a gentle pour, leaving about two and a half fingers of creamy, light tan head that dissipated very slowly. The head lasted so long that I can't give you a description of the lacing, since I was sucking on foam the whole time. The color of the beer was pretty nice, a very dark brown that when held up to the light produced a dark reddish amber.

The aroma was pleasant, though I have smelled better. My nose isn't quite as sensitive as some, so please forgive me if I leave out some things you may have noticed. The toasted grain was readily apparent, and also there were hints of strong coffee and a little bit of earth, though it was toned way down. The malty sweetness was the most prominent, but not overpowering, and there was a small suggestion of hop aroma, but very subdued.

The taste is creamy, with burnt toast, malt and a hint of hops at the front, also with some faint mineral flavor. It fades rather quickly after swallowing to some sticky sweetness with a little bit of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is very light, typical of a lager, though I feel it could have been a little bit heavier and it would have satisfied me quite well. It's refreshing and something I could drink after a hot summer's day, but probably not something I would buy on the regular, though if I had the opportunity to try it on-tap I would probably bump my score up a little bit. As far as Texas beers go, however, this isn't bad at all.

Photo of BeerSox
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, but still slightly translucent. Edges in light range from light yellow to dark orange. Tan head, almost disappears immediately, very little lacing.

Not much aroma, malt is apparent with roasted coffee scents.

Strong malt flavors are obvious, almost like burnt rye. There isn’t much hop character, but finishes dry.

Lighter bodied with high carbonation.

One, no more. This is an average beer, but it can still be enjoyed.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark brown to black with red tinted edges when held the light. This beer didn't produce much head at all,just settled to a thin cream colored ring around my mug.

Smell: Not a very potent aroma, everything in the nose is subtle. A mildly sweet malt,a hop character with some molasses and oats as well.

Taste: The flavors is of caramel, a mildly sweet malt, subtle hop bitterness,sugarcane and a hint of wood.Here again all flavors are vague. This beer is not expressive at all.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body,crisp at first then settles to a dry finish.

Drinkability: I'm glad I tried this one,but it's not on Cheers2Beers favorites list. Probabley wont buy this beer again.

Cheers2Beers

Photo of BeanBone
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown, nearly black at times, with dull ruby highlights. On top, a decent off-white head that leaves little lacing.

Aroma: Earthy roasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate. A little thin.

Taste: Much the same. The flavor profile is earthy, smokey, nutty, and mildly bitter malt accompanied by coffee and chocolate notes. Nothing much in the way of hops. While complex, it's still somewhat thin most of the time. The aftertaste is relatively intense and tastes of roasted grains.

Mouthfeel: Too light for my preferences. The carbonation is pretty sharp, but not too biting.

Drinkability: With a light body, somewhat thin (yet tasty) flavor, and low alcohol content, this goes back quickly.

Verdict: A nice enough beer, but not my favorite Texan Black Lager (that award goes to Shiner 97). Everything here is tasty enough, but there's just not enough of it if you catch my drift. If this was just a little more intense and full, it could be a winner.

Photo of gtermi
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a nice black with a white head.

S: I am getting a lot of roasted malt and coffee from this beer and find it very enjoyable.

T: The beer is sort of weak, but still has a decent amount of sweetness, roasted malt and some chocolate.

M: This isnt the smoothest beer, but still very enjoyable.

O: I love going to the Rahr tour and having this on draft. It is a good beer and I love getting it once in a while. This to me is Rahr's most popular beer.

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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.