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

163 Reviews
THE BROS
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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
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Reviews: 163 | Hads: 440
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 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)

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 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 RonaldTheriot
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager has a thin, beige head, some lacing, and a dark, yet clear, ruby red, bubbly appearance. The aroma is faint, but one can pick up some dark-roasted barley malt and sweetness. The taste is of burnt toast, rich coffee, some chocolate powder, and sweet, dark-roasted malt. Just a touch of hop bitterness presents itself. The mouthfeel is light and watery, and Ugly Pug finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, mostly dry, mild, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is good.

RJT (501 characters)

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. (695 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)

Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was on of four Rahr beers on tap at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth. Way to support the local breweries!!

Served in a standard straight pint glass, the beer is an opaque black with brown highlights and a creamy beige head.

Nose of charred malts and brown sugar.

The taste leads with dark roasted malts, molasses, a hint of coffee and some baker's chocolate. Well integrated.

The mouth could be a bit heftier, but it does make it easy to session. Give me more black lagers! (481 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 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 bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
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! (2,037 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut color-nowhere near the darkness Id expect from a schwarzbier but a nice color none the less. Good, low roasted aroma. Very nice roasted flavor. Somewhat coffee or espresso like. Good body-holds the whole package together. Overall a very drinkable schwarzbier. Well worth a try. Thanks mushroomcloud. (313 characters)

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

Served on tap at the Bluebonnet Brewoff ’05. A hard plastic cup.
Aroma: My sample was a touch cold, but I noted a slightly (what I call) dusty porter smell.
Appearance: Deep brown almost black with some clarity noted at the corners of the glass. Nice off white head left tide marks even with the small sample.
Flavor: Fair balance with a sweet side, some mild mineral flavors (which I find a touch overbearing in the blonde and red) that were at a nice level. Almost more of an oatmeal stout than a porter taste, I wouldn’t have picked Schwarzbier, but then again, I haven’t had many to compare it to. It did have a slight sour edge.
Mouthfeel: Rich texture with a medium-light body, good carbonation.
Overall Impression: Very tasty! Rich dark flavors, nice looks, I think we have a winner! I seem to enjoy Rahr & Sons beers more on tap than in the bottle, and I think it is that “mineral” taste. It seems appropriate to some German styles; I just find it slightly distracting. The Pug seems to have only hints, or the tastes covered it a bit more. Either way; my favorite beer from this new Texas brewery!
Recommended! (1,130 characters)

Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired this one from gramatton so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours deep, dark almost opaque brown but when held to the light allows for mahogany hues. An offwhite film of head sits on top and not much lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is of light caramel, honey, touch of toffee, and some grain.

T: Taste is pretty much sweetness through and through. Honey and caramel malts kick this one off. Some grain and toffee meet in the middle with a finish that has a light smoke flavoring.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation, thin feel at first and a bit creamier finish.

D: Decent beer, I've better of the style, but it's tasty and goes down easily and given the ABV easily one to sit with for a while. (719 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 hooliganlife
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Phoenix2443

pours dark cola black, quick fizzy cocoa cream head. very light retention.

sweet roasted malts, floral hops, a touch of licorice and dark fruits

light charcoal roasted malts all around. sweetness through out. light floral and citrus notes that linger in and out. bit of a bitter dry finish.

moderate carbonation, moderate body. feels full but drinks light.

a decent schwarbier. quite well rounded. nothing really stood out but everything complimented each other. i would drink this again, a fine example of the style. (545 characters)

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. (1,365 characters)

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. (453 characters)

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 (472 characters)

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

A - Pours a dark brown with a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Roasted malts, earthy smoked peat, hints of stale coffee grounds

T - Sweeter than the nose implies. Roasted malts, burnt sugar, bits of cocoa and coffee. Smoky hop bitterness comes quick and coats the mouth. Roasty and bitter on the finish.

M - Light to medium body, good carbonation.

Definitely not boring. The smoky bitterness adds a nice pop as well as the roasted malts. This would pair nicely with a grilled steak. (498 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 ckeegan04
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown with bright ruby highlights when held up to light. Head is about an inch thick, light brown, with lots of little bubbles. Head slowly fades to about a 1/4 inch cap.

S - Big bready aroma with light toasted notes. Aroma sweetens as the beer warms. A light herbal and earthy quality exists as well.

T - Strong toasted bread taste up front with more roasted notes coming through as the beer warms. Very malt forward beer here. Light earthiness from the hops provide some balance. Lightly bitter finish from the roastiness coming through.

M/D - A little on the thin side. Good carbonation and well balanced flavors make it very drinkable. (656 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 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 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. (1,299 characters)

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