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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.

165 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 447
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 23.55%
Wants: 26
Gots: 105 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 165 | Hads: 447
Photo of kcatlett00
4.82/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review is optional but now it is telling me I have to write one. Well my husband and I are Guinness fans and this reminds me of that beer but little bit lighter.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
4.58/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 3/13/2009 (Bottle):

Pours a dark brown black color body, with a tannish, creamy looking head, okay sized and somewhat lasting. Dark roasty malty aroma, some coffee. A little skunkiness. Some fruitiness too. Enticing. Creamy mouthfeel, light fruitiness, like a hefe, some banana. Not as stouty as I was expecting. Very tasty.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark red color. Aroma if clean with hints of roasted malts. Flavor is mild and smooth with roasted malt and hints of chocolate, isn't overpowered by the roasted malt like most dark (almost black) beers are. The body is on the light, but not watery, and is oddly refreshing. Overall an amazing beer, and I was extremely shocked. Usually I tend to like my lagers on the lighter side (pilsners, helles lagers).

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Photo of GregSVT
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet...one of my all time favs from Rahr. Had on tap at the brewery and out of the bottle but I'll review the on-tap version.

A: Pours black with very little light coming through. A big dark brown head slowly fades to a small layer and leaves a ton of lacing.

S: The nose is full of cocoa, chocolate malts, coffee, and a slight sweetness.

T: The taste is excellent with a big dose of chocolate and coffee with a malty sweetness and a slightly roasty/bitter finish.

M: The feel is creamy and smooth...very porter-ish.

D: This is one of the most drinkable dark beers I've had. The ABV is incredibly low for a beer with this much flavor. I sat and drank 4 or 5 of these during the big game on Sunday and wasn't even phased.

This is very close to being a porter...if it was a tad darker I'd say it was. If you can find it on tap it's excellent...the bottle falls a bit short of this score in the mouthfeel department but it's still good.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up as an extra recently and was thrilled to receive it. I had never had anything from them before and this is one of my new found favorite styles. Cooling it down in the fridge I reached for it immediatly to give it a try. Twelve ounce bottle was served cold and poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 11/04/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich, deep, dark brown color coming forward right away. Nice carbonation could be seen through the deep color that was in the glass. NIce head of two inches of off white that came up from the bottom and settled down nicely after a few moments.

The aroma was deep with peat and roasted malts. Almost a touch of rye floating in there as well. Decent caramel after it starts to warm coming through now. The flavor was even more of an adventue. Started with a nice mellow flavor of roasted malts that quickly melted over into a smokey, peat like taste. Very full profile here with a nice touch of spicy, pepper like rye in the finish that just pushed it over the edge. Light hops as it drew to a close were just enough to make me come back in for the next sip. Smooth and creamy carbonation was evident in this nice medium bodied ale.

Overall a very, very solid beer here with a fantastic flavor. Really snck up on me as I really did not think it would be this good, but this one is defintly a keeper/

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- OK, bubbly, tan colored head on top of an opaque black body with tootsie roll colored edges. Bare minimum lacing

S- Smells like real beer brewed with some decent roasted malts. Sort of bready and yeasty

T- Bittering and aroma hops become noticeable in the flavor creating a light, semi-sweet flavor that fades into a dark, grainy aftertaste.

M- Light, clean, and refreshing

D- Easy to drink with a very pleasant aroma and flavor character

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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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Buffalo Wild Wings in Lubbock, TX.

The beer is black with a half inch of beige head. The aroma offers light roast, chocolate, lager yeast, bread. Creamy feel and nice balance. Bready chocolates. Light to medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Silky smooth and easy drinking. Good stuff.

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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

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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

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rahr's Ugly Pug is truly a misnomer. The dog on the label may indeed be repulsive, but the beer itself is a beauty to behold. I can't recall any other Texas-brewed schwarzbiers, and it's a really unusual style to begin with. For me at least, the style is hard to get a handle on. I've always kinda thought of schwarzbiers as being little brothers to the more complex stouts and porters. They're similar in appearance, but typically much lighter on the palate.

The Pug is no exception to that rule. It pours with a decidedly porter-like appearance, except for the lack of head. In fact, the Pug produced almost no head at all, although it did leave some nice lacing down the sides of the mug as I quaffed it. Deep, rich, brown-to-black complexion. The nose was light and reminiscent of one of those cold-coffee drinks.

The taste was quite good. Roasty malts and hints of chocolate swirled in my mouth. The hops were in good balance, and gave the beer a nice dose of bitters to compliment the toffee-like malts. Nothing very complex, but quite satisfying. The Pug had a very light texture, but that's the norm for the style. It's SUPPOSED to be light and mellow.

Decent mouthfeel, good finish. VERY drinkable. This would be a great summertime beer here in Texas, though it would shock all of your buds for you to be seen drinking what looks like a heavy, dark beer in the middle of August. That alone would make it worth seeking out.

I really liked the Ugly Pug. Pat him on the head if you see him, or better yet, take him home for a couple of beers.

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Photo of rfabian
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it produces a half inch head that leaves fair lacing. The appearance is dark reddish-brown and clear when held up to the sunlight, almost opaque by ambient light indoors. The aroma is mostly of toasted grain and malt with a hint of earthy hops. The flavor is surprisingly sweet, toasty, malty with little bitterness, almost like a bock. But the feel is on the light-bodied side, and the finish is of slightly bitter malt.

This is a very refreshing, enjoyable and drinkable beer, a good session choice.

This beer seems to follow what is becoming a Texas tradition of light bodied maltiness with a light hop presence in beers, going by the styles of St. Arnolds, Real Ale, and Spoetzl.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear deep amber brown in color, with a large white head, scattered patchy lacing, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Deep burnt caramel and coffee aroma, both profound and alluring.

Taste: Toasted malt and burnt caramel dominate the taste from start to finish. The hops contribute a mild herbal spiciness, but definitely play a supporting, rather than dominant role. The finish is dry, with a lingering charcoal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and fairly full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A very well-made schwarzbier, quite pleasing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Dark (almost opaque) brown with tinges or red that appear in light, light brown head. In true lager fashion, the head disappears quickly though there is a ring. Nose is smoky dark chocolate bitterness with a surprisingly light middle swirl of malt and hint of lager yeast and a light bitter finish. Some medicinal/smoke notes in the aftertaste. Body is very light, one could almost mistake this for a porter were it not for the light body and tinge of lager yeast.

Tastes like a porter made with lager yeast, complex but ultimately light bodied, perhaps a tad bitter. Wish I could get a hold of this one in my neck of the woods, got this sucker from a beer trade.

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Photo of Bulljump
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

An excellent beer. Taste of roasted coffee. Very smooth. A bit like guiness with more flavor and less wateriness. Aftertaste is a bit bitter and lasts a decent amount of time. Smells like it tastes (good).

The bottle features a great design: a pug with an eye patch and an underbite, sticking out its tongue.

Easily one of my new favorites for the price and availability. You can even buy it in drugstores in texas. It's brewed locally and I have never seen it outside texas.

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Photo of Crockettr
4.11/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark Brown, light tan head
A: Chocolate malt and Coffee aroma with maybe a bit of burnt wood slightly.
This tastes very much like a dark brown Porter if it has Ale yeast instated of Lager yeast.
F: Mouth feel is good and crisp, but send to leave a slight wax feeling after taste.
Overspill this is a very good brown or brown
Porter type beer.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately I don't think others are grading this beer by style. It nails the style of a schwartzbeir. Dark black with a creamy white head, nice retention and lacing.

The aroma is big on roasted malts and coffee with some earthy notes and a touch of cocoa. Simple, earthy, and dark.

Nice light body with roasted coffee and cocoa flavors. Clean with some earthy tones.

Nice light body and balanced

Very easy to drink and enjoyable.

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Photo of klmcmachen
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very dark beer. I drank this from the bottle so I couldn't measure the head. The smell was very hoppy with a kind of a pilsner smell. Tasting it the smells changed. Hoppy turned into black ale and pilsner turned into hefeweizen. A bit of a strong aftertaste, but it is to be expected from a dark beer. Over all an enjoyable experience. I look forward to trying more of Rhar & Sons products.

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Photo of baseballrock
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - dark with some great mahogany hue. small cream colored head that has minimal retention.

s - the smell burst of semi sweet toffee.

t - sweet cocoa and toffee. nice maltyness and toasty bread notes. clean hop finish completes a good tasting brew.

m - very balanced. light to medium bodied

d - good drinkability, lucky to live in DFW, i can find the rahr beers in many places. i've had ugly gug on tap in several restaurants and it always impresses.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black, barely see-through color with a little head. Has a great consistency, light.
Smells of aromatic hops, and maybe a little sweets, but not much.
Tastes like the hops, and have just a bit of the character I would get from a bock. Has a really light feel to it, and the flavor is refreshing.

I like this beer a lot! Great job!

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Photo of HardTarget
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Bluebonnet Brewoff ’05. A hard plastic cup.
Aroma: My sample was a touch cold, but I noted a slightly (what I call) dusty porter smell.
Appearance: Deep brown almost black with some clarity noted at the corners of the glass. Nice off white head left tide marks even with the small sample.
Flavor: Fair balance with a sweet side, some mild mineral flavors (which I find a touch overbearing in the blonde and red) that were at a nice level. Almost more of an oatmeal stout than a porter taste, I wouldn’t have picked Schwarzbier, but then again, I haven’t had many to compare it to. It did have a slight sour edge.
Mouthfeel: Rich texture with a medium-light body, good carbonation.
Overall Impression: Very tasty! Rich dark flavors, nice looks, I think we have a winner! I seem to enjoy Rahr & Sons beers more on tap than in the bottle, and I think it is that “mineral” taste. It seems appropriate to some German styles; I just find it slightly distracting. The Pug seems to have only hints, or the tastes covered it a bit more. Either way; my favorite beer from this new Texas brewery!

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Photo of Everdrift
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ugly Pug is a really cool brew. You get a pretty big, though not overwhelming taste of a dark beer while still being able to enjoy a rather light body. That's the schwartzbier style. I haven't had a ton of different schwartzbiers, but this is definitely far from the worst of the lot I've tried. The roasted malts really give you that big flavor of coffee. It's very drinkable, due to it's lighter body, so get ready to put down a few of these without feeling like you made a mistake.

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Photo of Octagonal
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ,almost black, with some amber hues. About an inch of creamy head subsides rather quickly.
An aroma of coffee and roasted malt..
When tasting, the roasted malt and coffee continue through a slightly bitter finish. I really enjoy the aftertaste.
The dark beer has a light body, quite carbonated that goes down well.
I really enjoyed this beer and will definately have another.

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Photo of hojuwestlake
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This black lager had a clean blackish-brown color with a cream colored head that disapates not long after poured.

The smell is slightly roasted with a hint of cold coffee. Has a smoothe mouth feel with a little bite on the way down.

A lot of malt/oaty taste with a bit of sweetness like a porter or oatmeal stout but not as heavy. Light bitter finish with a pleasnt aftertaste.

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Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a small mug...

The beer is almost black with cranberry colored hues and a foamy sandy head that stuck around. It smells of toasted caramel and chocolate with a bit of smoke. Tastes like a campfire. The flavor is dominated by coffee and roasted malt. The beer feels light with a lot of soft carbonation and a dry, smokey finish. The Ugly Pug really impressed me, I have passed it up many times at the store and now I'm glad I got to try it, for free. I may have to get me a 6-pack now.

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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.