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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.

164 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 441
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 23.55%
Wants: 25
Gots: 102 | 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: 164 | Hads: 441
Photo of lawman834
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark, Dark red. Thin tan head that dwindles quickly.

S-Smoky and Malty with a slight metallic hint.

T-Smoke, Coffee and Licorace (sp?). Malty, no hops that I can taste. A little metallic on the finish.

M-Smooth. Carbonated in the mouth. Easy finish.

D-Easy to drink. Light and smooth but still has character. Not really my style, but pretty impressive.

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Photo of rowew
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, label fittingly has a very ugly pug with an eyepatch. No date.

Appearance: Pours black, but looks a dark ruby when held to the light. Thin head fades to almost no lace.

Smell: A light roasted aroma, mainly clean malt.

Taste: Nice medium to thin body, just a hint of roasted aroma, solid malt backbone.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - nothing overly exciting, but a solid beer.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ugly Pug Black Lager is a dark brown- colored brew with a light tan head of foam that is creamy with tightly packed bubbles. The nose on this beer is one of lightly roasted malts, a touch of mocha, and a small amount of smoke.

Tasting this beer doesn’t reveal any great surprises. The flavor of the beer is right in line with the typical black lager, with tastes of roasted malt, a touch of chocolate, toffee, and lingering maltiness. Some earthy notes and a slight bitterness round out the taste before the beer returns to the flavor of sweet, lightly roasted malt.

Ugly Pug has a lighter body than average, but it does manage to assert itself with its malty, creamy body. It makes a good Schwarzbier session brew and its easy- going nature makes it a good choice for newbies to the style. It would be even better with a slightly heavier, chewier body but it is definitely a respectable effort in its own right and certainly a beer worth trying.

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Photo of HimerMan
3.32/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses, as per Rollinhard.

Very nice dark brown/ almost black with a slightly offwhite head that fades quickly.

Smell - nice malts with a mocha-esque aroma.

Taste - this is perhaps a bit like Heavyweight's Black Ocean - however, the malt is a bit less pronounced and has no bitterness at all.

Overall - this is very thin in flavor and lacks in the true complexities of this style. However, a nice beer that is definitely worth trying if you are able to pick them up.


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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium-to-dark brown with ruby highlights. Head is small and fleeting. The odor is quite light. Lightly roasted aromas are short-lived, giving way to something approaching skunk. Flavors are of roast and coffee, with that light, crisp lager feel that gives this away as a lager. The mouthfeel, understandably, leans away from being full and chewy, but in the process I think it's a little too thin. I know my scores are pretty low, but this really isn't a horrible, offensive beer, it just doesn't do much of anything for me.

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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

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Photo of PEBKAC
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first tastes of Rahr, you know who you are. :)

Smoke rising off the lip, a ruby highlighted, black bourbon sort of brew. Sloshy inch of light tan head, leaving behind just speckles of lace. Good bit of sediment caked at the bottom of the glass, with just enough chewiness falling into the glass.

Smell is of crystal malt, minerals, sticky beer residue & metal.

Taste is predominately mild coffee grounds, bigger cola, & bark. Lightly sharp roast in the front, followed by a quick dash of citric acid, & then some biscuity sweetness. Finish is somewhat dusty, but with just a twinge of residual sweetness.

Frothy, excited mouthfeel. Thin & light, like I think it should be.

Easy enough to quaff, but just not as satisfying a flavor as I would like. Sam Adams(black lager) seems to have the six pack a day schwarz down pat. But hey, I drank two as a capper. It can't be too bad. :)

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Photo of BigRedN
3.26/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes. Had on week trip to Ft. Worth, TX.

Appearance: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thin 1/4 inch head, off white a little fizzy kinda like soda; disappears quickly. Beer is dark brown.

Smell: Some dark fruit, and a hint of smoke. Also as I get mid way through the six pack I start to pick up black licorice. Something a bit funky here. Just not digging the smell.

Taste: Mild taste. A little dark, roasted, malts (burnt caramel and smoked barley is the best I can describe it). Little to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body than expected, but not too watery. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy drinker, I enjoyed my 6-pack. Drinkable yes, but not real memorable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark brown in the glass. A beige sort of foam and surprisingly nice lacing and pleasantly sudsy as you sip. Interesting aroma of dark malt and cereal.

The dark taste is the main event. There is a bitterish, even sourish burnt flavor. I think there is more of that flavor than warranted by the style, but it's appropriately light bodied, more like a lager. Quite grainy, which is rather pleasant. A touch of malty sweetness that keeps this from getting to dry, but it's on the acidic side. Not one of my favorites.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Leonard's in Lubbock.

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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.

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Photo of hero27
3.24/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Nice cascading head when poured..decent retention. Translucent ruby-brown color.
Aroma is certainly different..bold burnt/woody smell and a mild (almost fruity) sourness. I can't remember the last time I used the word "sour" to describe a schwarzbier..
Roasted malt taste & subtle chocolate undertones.
Mouthfeel is decent, with a lighter body than I'd care for typically for the style.
Overall, this is a pretty drinkable brew, and the first I've sampled from this brewery.
Thanks to Quaffer for the bottle via trade.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours up dark brown with ruby highlight and a dense tan head.

S - Soft, roasty smell, slightly sweet background aroma.

T - Roasted flavor overwhelms everything.

M - Nice and thick.

D - A little too much of a one-note beer. It's not bad, but all there is is roasted malt.

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Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A small beige head forms. Light lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt with some sweet grain. A light hop aroma. Not much is here.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet roasted malt with some grain. A very light hop bitterness.
M/D: A light to medium body. A bit over carbonated for my tastes. A little on the watery side. Easy and smooth to drink. Something I could session if nothing else was around.

Kind of bland. Decent, but nothing I would recommend with enthusiasm.

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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.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/amber, clear. No head. Nice carbonation.

Mild dark ripe fruit. Belgium candy sugar essence. Very light raisin. Toffee notes. Sour/tart edge.

Surprisingly weak taste. Mild chocolate/roasted/raisin.

Nice carbonation. Moderate foamation.

Refreshing brew. I disliked it at first, then it grew on me. Tastes like a watered down Porter/Belgium ale mix.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Tumbler

Appearance-Pours a dark brown with a two finger tan head. Dissipates quickly leaving a thin film on top during the whole drink.

Smell-Smoke, Some sweet dark fruits. Some subtle chocolate.

Taste-At first it tastes like absolutely nothing, then some sweetness and some bitterness and black pepper spice comes in. Finish carrys over the smokiness and some fruit. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel-It's clean, but it's like a flat coke. Not very enjoyable mouthfeel which is a shame b/c the taste really isn't thad bad.

Overall-I do not enjoy Rahr and Son beers but going to a local beer store that didn't have anything that I wanted to buy I just bought this single for 1.50 so I didn't walk out w/ nothing. However, this is the best of all the Rahr and Son brews i've had.

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Photo of brentk56
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a fudgy borwn color with cola highlights and an almost creamy beige head that leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Toasted brown bread aroma with a hint of smoke

Taste: Crusty brown bread up front, with a somewhat twangy sour flavor developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, a cindery smoke flavor joins the profile, with the bready flavors lingering into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not really enjoying the twangy aspect and the ashen flavors are also a detriment; I like the brown bread elements but the beer just doesn't come together very well

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Photo of gford217
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown with mahogany tones when held up to the light. Even with an aggressive pour, there is little head and no lacing. The smell is of toasted malts with a hint of coffee and cocoa in there as well. The initial taste was a little bizarre - very biting and almost minty. There is also the sweet roasted malt backbone, but it's masked by the opening astringency. The mouthfeel is fairly light with decent carbonation. The astringency takes away from the drinkability a little bit and this is below average as far as scharzbiers go.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - After an aggressive pour there is almost no head. What little there is dissipates fast into one little ring that leaves light splotchy lace on the glass. Color is dark brown.

S - Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, earthy minerals, and a little bit of hops. Pretty mild.

T - Very bland, some roasted malts, dry bitter chocolate, more bitter than anything. Very disappointing.

M - Flat and thin.

D - Overall this beer was a disappointment, I tried three bottles of the six pack so far and they all turned out the same way, I was hoping just one or two bottles were duds or something. This beer tastes and feels like it's been sitting in an open glass in the fridge for the last few days.

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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.

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Photo of watsonmd
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: nice for a lager. Dark, intriguing. Scant head. Thin pour.

S: faint toast, hop, sour smell.

T: lighter than expected. Nice for a lager, but expected more from appearance

M: light, clean. Crisp.

O : wanted more character, but not unpleasant for lager

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a nice dark brown pour but with a thin weak head that leaves little to no lacing.

The nose is ok with a sweet smoky malt that has some coffee notes.

The taste is adequate and a decent drinkable beer. There is a medium fruity malt that tend more towards dry than sweet with some chocolate, coffee and mild hopping.

The moutfeel is a bit on the watery side but also acceptable.

Overall a drinkable beer with decent flavor but not outstanding nor exceptional.

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Photo of ndolover
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: up front chocolate, some coffee notes, some burnt malt, coffee persists as it warms

Appearance: tan head dissappears quickly, small and large bubbles

Flavor: Full chocolate, with some burnt malt flavors, clean lager yeast, roast flavors persists

Mouthfeel: thin mouthfeel, low carbonation, no astringency

Overall: This was not indicative of a true German Schwartz beer. However, it is very drinkable...but not to style. I was intrigued by the top beers in Zymurgy mag, but it looks like this was a ballot stuffer. =)

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.07/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very clear dark garnet color with very little head. Few bubbles are rising so the head virtually disappears into the beer with only a thin white ring where the beer meets the glass.

Aroma: Some dark caramel or even molasses-like aromatics are coexisting with quite the dose of biscuity malts. There is also a very prominent Chocolate/roasty character that is not Schwarzbier like...but they don't say that it is a Schwarzbier themselves...only calling it a black lager.

Taste: This beer has a hard to classify flavor. It is roasty enough to taste like a watered down porter, yet there isn't enough fruitiness to put it there. The carbonation is really light giving the beer a falsely heavy impression...that it may need as it is really attenuated. The finish is really wet and there is no alcohol noticeable. It has an almost soapy taste late in the finish.

Opinion: This beer is not a Schwarzbier. I don't really know what to call it, so on it's own merit it is quite out of balance for just about everything. The hops were very reserved to showcase the malt, but there was too much Chocolate and/or Carafa malt to give the beer the edge. There was a lot of toastiness going on here, but too much for the base malts. This was probably my least favorite of Rahr's beers.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.06/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap at random Dallas bar in a shaker pint.

Pour: Dark brown with a two finger tan head. Sticks around for a while.

Smell: Roasted malts and smoke and that pretty much about it.

Taste: Yup follows the nose to a T. Pretty simple.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but very drinkable. Again pretty simple.

Overall: Got this as an alternative to the BMC on tap, and it was clearly better than those offerings, but again - only got it because it was all I could, and would only get again in the same situation.

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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.