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: 6.93%
Wants: 24
Gots: 93 | 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 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. (1,560 characters)

Photo of aeminter
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute the beer is a deep brown-black with amber hues at the edges of the glass. The head is nice and foamy, almost three fingers high, and a lovely cappuccino tan. Minimal lacing.

The smell is a nice roasted chocolate, almost tootsie-role-like. Malty and deep with a hint of caramel...it may sound strange, but it makes me think of Halloween.

This almost tastes like a baby stout in its roasted flavor. It has a nice clean light finish. Good lager characteristics.

It's light bodied with nice carbonation and a dry finish. (539 characters)

Photo of rgrholmes168
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A- A great head poured on this beer that stuck around for a little while before staying as a layer of foam. True to its label it is a black lager.

S- a hint of chocolate and a dark malty smell.

T- a good solid smokey flavor. It was not no harsh like some dark beers. I could taste the malt coming through.

M- for a dark beer, it was pretty light as it went down the hatch.

D- not bad. i could not drink more than a few. (468 characters)

Photo of baseballrock
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - dark with some great mahogany hue. small cream colored head that has minimal retention.

s - the smell burst of semi sweet toffee.

t - sweet cocoa and toffee. nice maltyness and toasty bread notes. clean hop finish completes a good tasting brew.

m - very balanced. light to medium bodied

d - good drinkability, lucky to live in DFW, i can find the rahr beers in many places. i've had ugly gug on tap in several restaurants and it always impresses. (454 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 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. (978 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 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 jpaltan
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark black and opaque kind of purplish. Head foams up to a finger width and then is gone. Smell is caramel and malty. Little smell of hops. Taste is a bit spicy and slightly peppery (very subtle). There is a maltiness that is all around and then comes in a touch of hops to balance it out at the end. Mouthfeel has some body to it with a nice level of carbonation. Drinkablity is pretty high. (392 characters)

Photo of Tbn2
2.96/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to beer mug.

Pours jet black with an off white head that retreats to the ring of the glass and then disappears.

Smells is mostly coffee and burnt sugar. There is a little off smell there though. Perhaps from fermentation a touch too warm.

Taste is decent. The hops flavor is pretty good and the coffee and earthy flavors at the end are a nice touch. The hops have a good earthy feel and taste, but there taste like some off flavors from the fermentation.

I was hoping for a better brew here. A little disapointing though. (544 characters)

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. (337 characters)

Photo of Nordicsk8er
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle (thanks to kjkinsey) poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown appearance with shallow tan head that dissipated quickly. No lacing. Aromas of toasted malt, black coffee, metallic/mineral. Nice dark coffee flavors, dark chocolate, a little bit nutty and sweet like roasted pecans, and some tea-like puckering tannins in there as well. Like the smell, there's a mineral quality in the taste. Moderate carbonation with larger bubbles. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing, as with many lagers. Clean finish. Somewhat watery. Flavors are good but don't linger very long. Highly drinkable.I've become a fan of this style lately; and so it's always good to try another interpretation when possible. (699 characters)

Photo of Joe_Howard
4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark red color. Aroma if clean with hints of roasted malts. Flavor is mild and smooth with roasted malt and hints of chocolate, isn't overpowered by the roasted malt like most dark (almost black) beers are. The body is on the light, but not watery, and is oddly refreshing. Overall an amazing beer, and I was extremely shocked. Usually I tend to like my lagers on the lighter side (pilsners, helles lagers). (412 characters)

Photo of Mitchel
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ugly Pug black lager pours a very dark brown almost black but not quite. The off white head almost instantly fell to nothing and leaves little to no lacing. It smells like earthy burnt chocolate and wood….yes, wood.

The beer tastes of burnt chocolate and tannin…almost smoky. Not much more. It makes me think that they squeezed the grains to get the color out of it and at the same time got too much tannin. Very carbonated and finishes like burnt coffee. It finishes dry but again, burnt. It is a very sharp tasting beer. It is much of what I feel that Schwartz beers should be.

I don’t have much to say about this beer. It is not for me, but not a bad beer on the whole. The label alone is worth buying a sixer. The picture is great and there is a little story on the bottle about the name of the beer (if you are interested in that sort of thing). It is worth a try. (878 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 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 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 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 beerdiablo
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fort Worth's Rahr brewery has taken the low road in beer.
By that I mean lagers. Bottom fermenting, get it?

The Ugly Pug is a fine tasting dark lager with sweet, vanilla overtones
with a faint hint of coffee. This beer is very smooth, making it easy
to have 2-3 back to back in a session without weighing heavy on
your palate.

Hands down, the best Texas brewed Schwarzbier I've ever tasted. (400 characters)

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 (257 characters)

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. (1,041 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 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 miket163
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had Ugly Pug Black Lager on tap today at the Rahr and Sons brewery. It is really a beautiful beer, black but very dark brown under a light. There was a nice half-inch head that lasted a few drinks, but it still had fairly good lacing. The beer was very smooth with a smoky charred flavor, with slight hop bitterness in the back of the tongue. Very good!

Cheers! (364 characters)

Photo of Ruslanchik
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer is black, but quite clear. Head is light tan and bubbly. It starts off strong but fades quickly--there are just a few bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Aroma: Mostly roasted grains with a little caramel malt. The overall affect is lightly sweetened black coffee.

Taste: Slight hop bitterness and mild sweetness, but the strongest flavor is coffee from the roasted barley. Finish is a little dry.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately thin.

Overall: This beer strikes an excellent balance between strong roasted flavor and a clean finish. It is good for sessioning and an upgrade from light lagers for sunny summer days. (669 characters)

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