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Ugly Pug Black Lager - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

347 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 347
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.72%


Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: assurbanipaul on 12-18-2004)
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 156 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that tastes better than it smells in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2013 03:10:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark pecan brown with generous orange highlights when on the coaster... dark russet when backlit with overcast sky. The toasted tan cap has just the right amount of frothy creaminess and is doing a bang-up job when it comes to glass decoration. How dare they call this pug ugly.

Like the less than black hue, the nose is less than roasted malty. That's fine by me, since I've always given beer of this style a fair amount of leeway in terms of aroma and flavor. So far, UPBL favors heavily toasted earthiness over chocolate. I like it... and it sure isn't shy.

Whereas the nose score was a weak call, the flavor score is a strong one. Only trouble is, it's one notch lower. Even though schwarzbiers aren't meant to be malt bombs, this one needs at least 50% more barley. That little change would result in better flavor intensity, better flavor depth and a better mouthfeel. In other words, three pugs with one stone.

The beer is somewhere between a more roasty brown ale and a typical schwarz. Let's go with brown bread toast sprinkled with malt powder, cocoa powder and toasted walnuts. Just when things start to get interesting, the flavor flees (or is that fleas?), leaving the taste buds to wonder what the hell happened. The biggest culprit is...

... the mouthfeel. It's too light and is too aggresively carbonated (at least initially). Time and warming help and allow it to be considered barely above average in the end.

When it comes to what are probably the two most well-known beers of this style in Texas, I'll have to give the slight edge to Ugly Pug Black Lager over Shiner Black Lager. Both need a big shot of personality. Bottom line: this little pug ain't ugly, but he ain't no beauty king of a schwarzbier either.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 13:16:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
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/

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 01:37:27 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 23:43:59 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 23:39:35 | More by brentk56
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 09:59:00 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from hojuwestlake, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is smoky with a little bit of chocolate, dark fruit, coffee & hops.

T: The taste is well-balanced and smoky with flavors of chocolate, dark fruit, coffee and a good hops presence for the style. The after-taste is bready, smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, good representation of style, I could stick with this beer for a while, it’s a good beer to drink when you want something on the dark side but something that isn’t very heavy.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2007 03:39:29 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 04:24:42 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate. The flavor is more of the same. Other than the roasted malt and chocolate malt, I don't get much else other than a little bit of cream. The beer has a light to medium mouthfeel with the beer being a little bit watery. Medium carbonation. The beer is fairly drinkable and one of the better beers from Rahr's.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 04:28:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 04:21:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 21:05:30 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 19:57:28 | More by ppoitras
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 21:04:33 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2013 03:01:16 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 00:22:29 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, I picked this up from Central Market in Fort Worth while we were staying with a friend. Pours a jet-black, with no head. The nose had slight toasted and sour malt characteristics. Flavors were dark roasted, with a sour malt backbone. The beer has a good balance, with a smokey-sweet aftertaste. The beer has a mostly crisp finish, with a slight linger to the smokey characteristics. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 01:29:46 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 17:57:22 | More by gford217
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2009 03:40:15 | More by champ103
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this in trade from TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a nice dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. Nice size off white head dissipates quickly. Aroma of Smoky nutty roasty malts. Not much hop to be found in the nose. Tastes like it smells, roasted malt bitterness in the finish. Bubbly creamy mouthfeel. Medium to thin in the body. I thought the carbonation seemed a bit to high and lessened my enjoyment of this brew. Overall a decent brew, I could see myself enjoying a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 21:33:10 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 01:55:40 | More by AgentZero
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 05:58:20 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 03:21:24 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 17:11:49 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 03:39:19 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby brown in hue, clear and shimmering, the liquid looks well enough. Off-beige head, at the apex the foam was over two-fingers in height. Rocky. Head retention was very good; it slowly faded to a chucky, rough-looking cap. A smaller cap did last the entire consumption, impressive. The subsequent lacing was spotty and unorganized but it was prevalent nevertheless. This is a good-looking beer!

The nose was graced with a soft sweetness in the form of caramel and coffee. Plus there were some toasted grains. Grassy hops with an earthy residue. I swear there is a kiss of smoke too. I like the nose because it, more or less, says exactly what I’d expect a Black Lager to proclaim. I do wish the potency was louder and I would have like a rounder aroma. Still, as is, I found the bouquet to be well-constructed and inviting.

Tasty. I’d be lying if I said I’ve tried a lot of Schwarzbiers because I haven’t. Based on what I’ve tried, I’d say Ugly Pug is the pick of the litter. If nothing else, it fits what I think a Schwarzbier is supposed to be. Minimal roasted qualities, I detected some smoked earth, some faint coffee, and a smattering of caramel. Again the toasted grains are noticeable. Grassy hops. There is a fair amount of bitterness, as to be desired. The aftertaste is long, especially for a lager because otherwise this is a clean beer. I do like how it won’t let me forget what I just swallowed. Like I said, this beer is tasty.

The mouthfeel doesn’t do much for me. It is not too thin (or too beefy) but it feels lackluster. Low carbonation, but it fits this beer well enough. The mouthfeel is good, don’t get me wrong… but I would have like something else here. What, exactly, I don’t know.

This is a very drinkable Schwarzbier; I enjoyed every sip. If this were a local, I would quaff it often. It is flavorful and easy to drink… what more do you want in a beer? Nothing. Give me a six-pack and a glass and I am sound as a pound. Thanks assurbanipaul. Tasty beer. Great label. Thanks. Try one!

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 23:23:15 | More by bditty187
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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.