Ugly Pug Black Lager - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager

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BA SCORE
82
good

439 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 439
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 24
Gots: 88 | 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: 439 | Reviews: 169
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 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
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle hauled back from trip to Houston.

Beer is a clear, dark brown/mahogany/copper color. Sported a medium sized, light tan head.

Aroma was a bit unpleasant. Smoke part OK, something burnt OK, aroma of a cigarette ashtray not too pleasant. Some earthy characteristics as well.

Taste was quite good. Roast notes along with burnt toast. Mild caramel and blackstrap molasses. Some grassy hops. Coffee in aftertaste.

Medium in body. Low carbonation. Refreshing.

Overall, a nice black lager, almost porter like in taste (a smoked porter), but not mouthfeel.

Photo of biegaman
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, dark brown colour. Not at all black when held to the light, even some clarity sneaks through. First stricking feature is a well pronouced smokey character which is quite predominant both in the nose and taste. Excellent roast malt. Flavour is well developed but a little short of anything fantastic. Sometimes one-dimensional, simple roast caramel malt. A little bit of hoppy character somewhere in there. All in all a fresh black lager, very enjoyable.
Thanks CRWills for the trade!

Photo of mentor
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed about 6 months ago, but just posting now. Thanks to assurbanipaul for this one ala BIF33.

Pours a nearly two finger light tan head that settles rapidly to a clingy layer of light foam. The beer is dark copper brown and, when held to light, is crystal clear and a gorgeous brown-orange. Smells very dry chocolate malt with woody hops that arise very aromatically.

Tastes dry chocolate and some roast with a subtle and lingering malt sweet. Biscuit malt and woody dryness with aromatic hoppy qualities. Grassy hops try to step forward, but are lost in the rising hop oily punch. Mild coriander and a touch of sour from black patent. The aftertaste is dry from chocolate malt and almost comes across as ‘empty’. A ghost of chocolate malt flavor that one would find in a baltic porter. Mouthfeel is medium but dextrinous. Thicker than could be expected if judged from the intensity of the flavors. Carbonation is moderate and works well. I wish I could identify what hop they used.

This is hard to describe, but, overall, the flavors fail to stand up. I one homebrewed a ‘low alcohol’ beer that used very few fermentable. That beer was liquid with little flavor. This Rahr beer is similar in that it lacks the intensity one would expect. Honestly, though, I find all Schwarzbiers to share this attribute. So, I guess this is typical for the style.

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.

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 deBeers
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This schwarzbier from Rahr and sons pours a deep black mahogany tinge with a with a creamy two-finger head that settles into a velvety thin layer concentrated around the ring of the glass.

Notes of coffee and chocolate come through in the taste along with the smell. Swishing this around in your mouth really smooth the pleasant hop bitterness out and bring outs the coffee notes much more. Very clean with a smooth aftertaste that reminds me of the hops as opposed to roasted malts. One thing I don't like is that it leaves my mouth just a bit parched. I think this might have a little more to offer when combined with a meal due to this factor.

All in all, a very tasty enjoyable beer for the style. I would have liked to see the actual mother-in-law's pug in black and white as opposed to the drawing but presentation is good overall. It's nice to read about the background/history of the brewery as well.

Kudos to Travis for getting this out to me and giving me the chance to savor a nice, easy drinking black beer from Texas.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 teg8612
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Though a Black Lager, color is more deep brown. Pours nice with nice head. Head dies down quickly though and carbonation is light. Smell is of coffee and toffee. Mouthful is light. Malty taste with those same roasted qualities of coffee and herbs but not real strong though and body is light. Easy drinking but only partially satisfying.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Damn nice black lager. Slightly chilled pours black tinged with red covered in a thin white head. Smells of clean lager with a malt roasty character and a touch of spicy hops. Taste is mild delight, smooth roast and creamy malt slight chocolate after taste that mixs well with the delicate hop bite. Nice mouthfeel and very drinkable, Texas is lucky to have this beer and I would not mind calling it my own.

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.

Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.