Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 448
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 23.55%
Wants: 26
Gots: 104 | 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: 165 | Hads: 448
Photo of MDDMD
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-light roasted malt, hint of brown sugar

T-roasted malt, brown sugar, earthy, mild bitter finish

F-light to medium body with modearte carbonation, crisp

O-easy drinking lager, not a great range of flavors, but better than adjunct lagers

 298 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle compliments of MUSHROOMCLOUD.

Pours a clear dark chestnut brown - not quite black. Has a very thin head that fades. Spotty lacing.

Aroma is very light. Some roasted and caramel malt aroma with just a hint of chocolate. It has a porter-like aroma, but very clean and crisp.

Taste matches the aroma. Very light flavor of roasted malts with some caramel and chocolate. Very clean and dry.

Body is thin, light carbonation.

Very drinkable with a nice taste. Could use just a bit more body.

 512 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i must say a good surprise of dark dark lager with a nice head. smell is just mild chocolate. palate is that of schwarzbier but quite thin, as expected, but didn't allow for much latitude. the beer tasted earthy... and chocolaty... mild bitter and washes thin. not much else. no fruit. and not particularly overly sweet which was a plus.

 337 characters

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

Thanks to turbine2475 for this one.

Poured into my yuengling pint glass

A. Black with a tan head that dissipates pretty quick

S. coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts

T. a mild burnt coffee and chocolate bitterness and I'm not sure if it's the beer or the glass but it kind of has a slight soapy taste on the backend. I'm liking the burnt coffee and chocolate, but not so much the soapy taste.

M. holds true to the style, light and thin good bit of carbonation.

D. If the soapy taste is just the glass then it'd be pretty damn drinkable.

All in all a good, refreshing brew I'd like to try again to check on the soap taste though.

 636 characters

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

Appearance - very inviting smoky color, nice tan head.
Smell - malty, smoky coffee tones.
Taste/ Mouthfeel - drinking this style of beer you need to get over the fact that they are easy drinking and not heavy as the color indicates. A very refreshing full bodied taste, with a nice full flavor feel to it, but it all fades leaving you to want more.
Drinkability - this style is very drinkable and very tasty. I can't say that I would go and search one of these out but for the few I had, I enjoyed it. The better of the Rahr brewery beers I've had.

 548 characters

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.

 1,297 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice looking beer,, kinda reddish-dark brown in color, fairly clear but still dark enough to where it's hard to see very far through it, with a nice light brown creamy head that lasted a bit and left sheets of lace.

Aroma and flavors are somewhat malty, with a slightly detectable roastiness, but not bitter astringent roasts like a stout, and maybe a touch of bread and dark fruit, Not a lot of hops, but a slight sweetness comes through.

Somewhat brown-ale like overall, but lighter in body, which is more lager-like.and just a little thin.

Overall it's not too far off the mark for the style, although not outstanding.

 633 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a finger of tan colored head.

S: A pretty typical schwarzbier aroma with a lot of roasted malts and a slight acidity to it. There is a little bit of coffee coming through and some bitter cocoa. Maybe a touch of licorice, too.

T: Lots of roasted malts and coffee to the beer. There's a high carbonation that brings out a bit of acidity. A little bit of chocolate to it, but it's sort of bitter. Sort of simple and not very intense.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation.

D: Not a bad schwarzbier. I would have preferred some more intense flavors and aromas, but it's good.

 688 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to JJFoodie for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, very nice carbonation, very nice two-finger fizzy/foamy light tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some roasted nuts, toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with some roasty notes, and a nice little touch of toffee. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty little brew.

 382 characters

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.

 260 characters

Photo of jwff
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a plummish brown with little head, a color I've rarely seen in my glass. I should note this is my first beer that I've had of the style, (glad it's from texas, ya'll). Smell is grainy/smoky, the grain is something I've noticed with the other Rahr I've had. Taste is chocolate, but very watered down. This isn't a bad thing considering this is a lager, but I would have liked to see more complexity rather than chocolate and grains. The mouthfeel is good, and it isn't an insult to call it middle of the road.. not too heavy or thin. The drinkability is high and I would love to pair this with a burrito.

 609 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 9.11.12.
Thanks johnsaulrubio

A - Pours a coca-cola brown with a think coke colored light tan head that is gone quickly.

S - Very nutty and roasted malts.

T - Nutty, roasted malt, light coffee and chocolate.

D - Thin body and a mild body.

O - Very light, but nice roasted and nutty flavors.

 312 characters

Photo of acevenom
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours deep, but still slightly transluscent, dark brown with a biege head that dissipates slowly. There's a nice, finger length head left atop the beer. The aroma is of slightly sweet and dark malt that almost smells charred from the smokiness. The taste is dominated by the slightly smoky dark malt that is slightly sweet in the background. The hop presence is minimal, so the malt gets to shine with this beer. The body is light with adequate carbonation. The finish is clean. The drinkability is high. This is a very good beer.

 556 characters

Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown-black, tan cappuccino head that holds a ring but no lace.

Smell is burnt chocolate malts.

Taste is toffee, chocolate, adn roasted barley, with a bit of an off sweetnes.

Highly carbonated and medium bodied.

OVerall, an ok schwarzbier, but not the best. A decent beer

 275 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Mmm., schwarzbier. I love a good schwarzbier.

Deep brown, but ruby in the light, slim, dun-colored head.

Cola, nuts, and pepper in the nose.

Taste is smooth, malty, tasty. Chocolate malt, very mellow and understated. Excellent drinking, but not too complex,...just something tasty you can drink again and again. Nuttin'wrong with that.

 340 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with good retention and a nice black color.

Coffee dominates the nose and overpowers the other smells that are underneath. Chocolate malt and toffee come out as well, but are masked. Nevertheless, the smell is very enticing.

Man, I was a little disappointed on the first sip. I have had threads stating why I think mouthfeel sometimes takes away from flavor. In this case it does. Sort of minty flavors upfront that fall short and leave little excitement to the tongue upfront. After that, Chocolate sweetness and coffee comes out, which is very nice, it's just that initial sweetness is dull and unexciting and the mouthfeel leaves a lot to be desired. As the beer wamrs, the beer does even out quite a bit, but it still falls a little bit short.

Mouthfeel is described above. It's overly watery on the finish and ruines the beer.

This beer has a lot of potential, but it lacks fullness on the palate and needs a little tweaking. Howver, I could still have a couple of these. The mouthfeel is a total buzzkill.

 1,041 characters

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.

 468 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from assurbanipaul as part of Too Much Beer (2MB) BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear ruby brown brew. Head fades to 1/4" and holds steady, with lots of sticky coating lacing. Aroma is hearty dark grains, some burntness in there, but a tart fruitiness in the middle I'm not wild about. Taste is not as intense with the dark malts as the nose, but the fruit I was scared of isn't here either, which is nice. Closes with a light bitterness that seems more coffee than hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth and soft, and drinkability is pretty good as well. Not a bad Schwarzbier.

 659 characters

Photo of TPoling
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with amber hues in the sunlight. There is a light tan head that holds longer than most and leaves a delicate lace. The aroma is of roasty malt and light coffee notes.

The crisp mouthfeel of lager with the rich malt character of an ale. The dominant flavor is of roasted coffee beans. Just the right amount of hops combine to give a pleasant medium finish

 376 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good interpretation of the style. Pours out to a lighter brown color (sorry, not black), with a light head of off white foam that about 1/2 inch. No lace. Medium carbonation, with bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass. Aromas are welcoming; yeasty malty notes swell in the nose, with hints of grain and bread dough in the wings. Nice. Taste is fair; toasty malts and dry grains, a touch of mild hop essesnce, some grassy elements. Very easy drinking. Mouthfeel was decent. A fair beer overall. Worth a try. Special thanks goes out to assurbanipaul for the sample.

 581 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a ruby-tinted brown with a slight off-white head. Aroma is lightly roasted. Taste is a mix of roasted, coffeeish graininess and pleasant bitterness. Finishes dry and quite clean. Moderate body and medium carbonation. I've enjoyed this beer more on draught, but never tooks notes. In the bottle, it's a fairly ordinary dark beer.

 338 characters

Photo of jdense
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Gabe's San Antonio, enjoyed 4.22.11.

Dark brown opaque body, no visible carbonation under one finger tan head, minimal lacing and quick dissipation. There's some mild roast and floral hops in the nose and a bit of caramel sweetness. Taste mirrors the nose. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, not a lot of effervescence. Extremely drinkable, not heavy at all. While this doesn't rise to the level of Moonlight's Death by Taxes (what does?) this is a fine Schwarzbier and worth seeking out for fans of the style.

 537 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - yep, she's a schwarz, black body with just a glint of ruby/brown around the edges. A thin head, a bit meager with some weak dots of lacing, but a good looking beer despite.

Aroma - a fine roasty smell, fresh coffee grounds.

Taste - the roast and the coffee flavors are there as expected, along with a touch of something lemony or tangy. I could do without that latter bit. It's mostly on the aftertaste, and following that is a reprise of the dark grain, so it ends well. A pretty good shot at the style.

Mouthfeel - a hair to the thin side, and very crisp to the point that I want to swirl some bubbles out to get to the flavor.

Drinkability - schwarzes are all or nothing for me. I like a good roasty taste, but a little of something off and I'm not on-board. Such is the case with this one, the tart bit kind of messes up the good roasty flavor, though the second one of my stash went down fine at a street party this weekend, preceded by a handful of Eliot Ness and OTR, so the tart bit was less of a factor.

 1,029 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass translucent black with a white head which fell to nothing in an instant.

The aroma was strong caramel malt smoothness and chocolate. Almost the aroma of a milk chocolate bar.

The flavor was chocolate with a bit of astringency and tannins. Not quite crisp and slightly grassy in the bitteirng and with an expresso roasty flavor.

The finish was dry with lasting slight acrid rosted grain bitterness into the aftertaste. The body was medium light or just a smidge more. Good aroma, lousy head retention and just ok flavor.

12 ounce bottle.

 579 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. twist-cap, courtesy of LarryKemp, poured into a pint glass. An eyepatch-wearing, tongue-lolling dog earns the coveted label. Named for Fritz Rahr's mother-in-law's 'ugly pug', Oscar. Listed at 4.8% ABV on 'All About Beer'.

A: Excellent look for a schwarzbier; nearly black, fluffy head a finger-high, scattered lace. Hints of lace but most slips gently to the glass. Head builds to 1.5-fingers and falls gently

S: Vague smoke and spiced cocoa. A sweet, toasted malt.

T:Toasty and lightly burned wheat bread, spicy and sweet. Bland mineral finish.

M: Very 'cool'; molasses and spice with a fading carbonation. Actually, very little carbonation - medium-tin mouthfeel.

D: Good schwarzbier, flavorful. One that I'd be glad to drink again.

 749 characters

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