Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

163 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 163
Hads: 440
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 24
Gots: 96 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 163 | Hads: 440
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. (618 characters)

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. (279 characters)

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. (508 characters)

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. (976 characters)

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. (541 characters)

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. (574 characters)

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. (705 characters)

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. :) (887 characters)

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 (490 characters)

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. (525 characters)

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.

Cheers. (513 characters)

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. (952 characters)

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. (419 characters)

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. (358 characters)

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. (357 characters)

Photo of pants678
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From bottle to a standard english pint, it comes out opaque, but at the bottom corners of the glass, light is able to seep through. The head is but half a finger and has all ready disappeared, leaving a thin lace. It's a very dark chocolate brown color, deep with some carmel/espresso compliments sitting at the bottom.

Distinct aroma of charred coffee beans and milk chocolate. There's good width and I think I have a guess what this will taste like.

That was not what I was thinking. The flavors are hidden undertones beneath an overwhelming charred flavor. I have to dig for the hints of espresso which are not at all satisfying. Chalk this up as a beer that smells much better than it tastes. The back end is nice, there is no aftertaste, no real lingering. It opens up toward the middle, clearing up and surfacing an oak and coffee combination.

It has decent texture, it would benefit from less carbonation. It's surprisingly light despite the appearance.

Clean and dry with some bumps and bruises in between, but that's better than sliding down so easily you didn't even know it was there. (1,099 characters)

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 (724 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recieved as an extra in a trade with texasclimber.

A - Actually a pretty nice looking beer. Really is about black, with red and brown running through it in the light. Small off-white head rose up a half a finger and dissipated to nothing rather quickly. Nothing left on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, slightly acidic, bit of lagar yeast. Little bit of unsweeted chocolate and some caramel.

T - Roasted malt, bit of coffee. Some chocolate, some yeast on the end. It's slightly bitter and acidic. Easy to drink.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied with fairly middling carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer. It's unspectacular but it was a nice thirst quencher for me that I killed in about three minutes. Wouldn't mind it again after a workout. (745 characters)

Photo of fjordhook
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: had a very nice look, dark chocolatey brown that looks thick already

smell: right away i could smell the chocolate, but laced within there were hints of nuts and malts

taste: a very thick beer, where all the blends from the smell mix together with a bite

mouthfeel/drinkability: felt like a meal while drinking, the combination of a dark beer and the bite it had didn't feel right to me (402 characters)

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. (1,869 characters)

Photo of LarryKemp
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a deep clear black with a nice malty nose. I was sitting next to a smoker so that limited the fragrance.

This beer was not as malty as I would expect but had more hop bite than what one would expect in the style. When I had this beer at the brewery, it had much more malt and far less hops.

The mouthfeel was medium and smooth.

Overall, this beer showed no off aromas or tastes. I will try this again and probably edit this review. When drinking it at the brewery, it was my favorite from Rahr. At the Flying Saucer tonight, it left me a little less enthusiastic. I guess this means I will be forced to go drink it free at Rahr Brewery on Saturday. (671 characters)

Photo of TwinButte
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hoffbrau Steaks in Dallas TX.

Big pint glass! Everything is big in Texas! A very dark brown with a small brownish head. Low hop profile but right on for style. Leaves a nice slightly bitter after taste. That's really the best part of this brew. It is somewhat watery but is a great beer to drink with my burger.

Glad I was able to try one from Rahr & Sons. Wished I could have had their scotch ale! (412 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of jenray. Thanks Jen!

It looks pretty schwartz to me with a 1 finger of just barely off white foam. Some nice lacing accompanies at least early in the session.

Slight notes of roast, some dark chocolate, and a rather prominent smell that you normally get in an American adjunct lager...corn.

The taste is on the sweet side. I'm getting notes of some milk chocolate, corn, very light coffee, a light hint of a citrus spritz, and a milder, very milder, note of corn than in the nose. Not a bad brew and oh, a bit of smoke when I swish the beer in my mouth.

This is light bodied with fairly light carbonation. A generally thinnish mouth feel.

Drinkability is better than I expected when I added up the scorecard. I'm happy with this brew. (758 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Delirium tremens snifter.

Ugly Pug isn't ugly at all! In fact, the nearly opaque, sepia & seal brown body is quite attractive beneath an inch of well-retained, custard/tan foam. One of the darkest, best-looking Schwarzbiers I've had. Aroma is solid, too, and the malty layers reminds me of peanut butter and chocolate (think Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup cereal), while the hops smell of peat and earth.

Things go a bit downhill in the taste department, as a blandish roasted malt presence tries its hardest to suggest powdered cocoa, but really only attains a slight caramel biscuit note. Not much in the way of hops, either, and the overzealous carbonation level and dry finish kill off much of the crispness and refreshing qualities for which the style is known. Still, Ugly Pug is a nice interpretation of a Schwarzbier from Rahr & Sons, and one I could see myself having again. (899 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours cola-like with a lot of foam that doesn’t dies down. Impressive appearance, but that’s the extent of it. Not much on the nose. There’s very little roast but a lot of lingering maltiness. A bit of an unwelcome sour bite. Cloyingly sweet. Thin bodied, which makes it drinkable. Dial up the viscosity and I’d call it a good sipper if I was in the mood for something after dinner. I can see why this is a favorite for some but it just doesn’t work for me. (477 characters)

Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.