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Ugly Pug Black Lager - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager

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

398 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 20
Gots: 51 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: assurbanipaul on 12-18-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 160 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nhindian
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Bottle generously provided as an extra by Exiled, thanks Jason!

A - Although described as a black lager, or schwarzbier, it pours rather brown, almost like coke. A swirling, 1.5-finger head lingers for a few minutes, but then dissipates, leaving a milky cap. It's possible to see lots of carbonation rising to the surface. Not much lacing at all, only a very little here and there.

S - The aroma has hints of roast, chocolate, and a strange metallic quality to it. Overall it's fairly weak, though, so once it's in the glass for a little, I'm only getting a bit of roast.

T - Again, the flavors here are just lacking. At first it's a refreshing burst of light coffee, but after that it's all downhill with muddied notes of chocolate, hops, and that recurring metallic taste. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the flavors are short-lived, as before I'm even a third done with the beer, each sips brings about a second of flavor before being washed away in a watery current. Very strange.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with high carbonation. Pretty smooth drinking.

D/O - Drinkability is low. Besides a slight coffee finish, the flavors are nearly non-existent after about 5 minutes. At that point I am almost drinking watered-down coffee... Would definitely help if the flavors had any staying power, but even then, they weren't incredibly noteworthy to begin with.

nhindian, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-very dark brown, translucent around the edges. thin cream colored head

S-smells like smoked coffee malts. medium strength

T-comes in with thick coffee malts that are slightly smoked with a slight taste of chocolate. it rides the line of some baltic porters. the taste of grinded coffee remains. it gets slightly bitter and goes in to a matching after-taste. the tastes all are of decent quality and medium strength.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-well this is definitely a good tasting beer. its fairly mild yet fairly exciting at the same time. its refreshing to get this sort of taste from the low ABV and lager format. i'm impressed with this attempt at the style.

AdamBear, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of mjurney
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Ruby-brown color, see through. Nice amount of carbonation. Head looks fairly creamy, egg shell color. Lacing looks very nice on the glass.

Aroma:
Very malty. Toasted malts, a little roasted. Some caramel.

Taste:
Malt up front along with crispness at the end. Malt character is slight roasted, caramel, touch of burnt toast and chocolate. Some bitter hops at the end, but its crisp. Light boded. Fairly good amount of carbonation.

Finish:
Finish is crisp and clean. Dash of burnt aftertaste.

Overall:
A little too light for a Schwarzbier, but its highly drinkable. Very nice session beer.

mjurney, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of Ruslanchik
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Ruslanchik, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of StaveHooks
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

StaveHooks, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of mikestan06
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review, so let's see how this goes. Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

Dark black color with an unexpectedly impressive tan head. Unfortunately faded quickly, but I blame that partly on the glass.

Smell was more or less nonexistant, maybe a hint of cocoa? Taste was nice - faint chocolate malt dominated each sip.

Grabbed a chocolate chip cookie during the last third of the glass, which was a pleasant addition to the mix. You can't say no to homemade cookies.

Nothing too extreme here, but better than I expected. Solid B.

mikestan06, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of jale
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear brown with a finger of light brown head.

S: Light roasted malt. Chocolate and light coffee.

T: Smokey toasted malt with a hint of chocolate and slight coffee. Small amount of hop bitterness finish.

M: Light body with good carbonation.

O: A tad thin for me.

jale, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
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.

GarthDanielson, May 01, 2011
Photo of jdense
3.6/5  rDev 0%
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.

jdense, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a small mug...

The beer is almost black with cranberry colored hues and a foamy sandy head that stuck around. It smells of toasted caramel and chocolate with a bit of smoke. Tastes like a campfire. The flavor is dominated by coffee and roasted malt. The beer feels light with a lot of soft carbonation and a dry, smokey finish. The Ugly Pug really impressed me, I have passed it up many times at the store and now I'm glad I got to try it, for free. I may have to get me a 6-pack now.

JMad, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of BeardedRiker
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has been awhile since I've reviewed a beer and what better beer to review than one brewed locally in Fort Worth, TX from Rahr & Sons Brewing? I've had their Ugly Pug many times before and I think it's a pretty damn good black lager or schwarzbier.

Ugly Pug is not an ugly beer to look at. The head is very bubbly and off-white that leaves a fair amount of lacing while drinking. The beer looks black normally but if put up to the light it is a dark bronze with a little bit of particulates floating around. Take note that there is some sediment on the bottom of the bottle so make sure you get it in your glass!

Ugly Pug has a lack of a dog smell. Instead, it smells significantly of roasted malts, chocolate, and is bready. There is a little bit of hops in there as well.

While the flavors might not be complex in Ugly Pug, I think they are tasty and blend well. The two dominant flavors are chocolate and roasted malts. It makes this beer have a smoothness, it'd be better described as being creamy, to it that's not found in most lagers. Roasted coffee notes mix with the chocolate well and lager yeasts make their way in later on.

The mouthfeel is light, but a bit heavier than a regular lager, with medium carbonation.

While the Ugly Pug has flavors (chocolate, roasted malts, and chocolate) that are most commonly associated with heavier beers like porters or stouts, Ugly Pug remains a very drinkable beer.

The reason I like Ugly Pug is because of its "heavier" flavors while remaining a very drinkable beer. I don't find it to be a watery beer either. I definitely recommend drinking it after it has warmed a bit.

BeardedRiker, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of Fenris244
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark red, almost black but not quite, as soon as you put it up to the light it's really red. 1 finger head with decent retention, not much of a lace to speak of but at least a thin layer of bubbles is left on the surface of the beer.

Smell is quite chocolatey, little bits of hops and a metallic note as well

Somewhere chocolatey in flavor as well, coffee like as well not overly complex for me but the flavors come through well, the hops are also present but blend in very well.

Light in body, extremely smooth and pretty refreshing, drinkability is good, certainly something I'd have in the summer or spring, good beer I'll take this over most lagers any day

Fenris244, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - After an aggressive pour there is almost no head. What little there is dissipates fast into one little ring that leaves light splotchy lace on the glass. Color is dark brown.

S - Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, earthy minerals, and a little bit of hops. Pretty mild.

T - Very bland, some roasted malts, dry bitter chocolate, more bitter than anything. Very disappointing.

M - Flat and thin.

D - Overall this beer was a disappointment, I tried three bottles of the six pack so far and they all turned out the same way, I was hoping just one or two bottles were duds or something. This beer tastes and feels like it's been sitting in an open glass in the fridge for the last few days.

StoneBrewFanatic, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
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.

womencantsail, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of MADhombrewer
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark brown. Reminiscent of cola. Small head, no lacing.

Aroma- Small aroma. Roasted malts, and hops. Little bit of alcohol. Some coffee after it warms.


Taste-Light roasted malts. Crisp hop flavor throughout. Small coffee and chocolate notes come out as it warms.


Mouthfeel- A little more thicker than a "normal" lager. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability- Good drinkability. Easy going and light.

This is a nice black lager. I have never heard of the brewery until jenray hooked me up with two of their beers. I am looking forward to trying their other stuff. Thanks jenray.

MADhombrewer, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Bitterbill
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.

Bitterbill, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with ruby highlights and a thin soapy head.

S: Sweet roasted malt and coffee aromas.

T: Initial taste is a sweet roasted coffee and chocolate flavor. There are some floral notes from a very slight touch of hops. It finishes sweet with a chocolate aftertaste.

M: It is very light in body with low carbonation, maybe watery, but I kind of like it.

D: The light body of the beer and the great flavors make this a very, very good session beer. Especially in these winter months.

Kromes, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of KateMcN
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

schwarzbier style, but not as rounded or flavorful as some of the better ones i've tried. (although my standard is death and taxes, and those are big kegs to fill.)

coffee grinds, earth, minerals, smoke, bitter chocolate, all very mildly detectable.

thin body. finishes clean.

easy-going session beer to the max.

KateMcN, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Nordicsk8er
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Nordicsk8er, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
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.

Mora2000, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of ndolover
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: up front chocolate, some coffee notes, some burnt malt, coffee persists as it warms

Appearance: tan head dissappears quickly, small and large bubbles

Flavor: Full chocolate, with some burnt malt flavors, clean lager yeast, roast flavors persists

Mouthfeel: thin mouthfeel, low carbonation, no astringency

Overall: This was not indicative of a true German Schwartz beer. However, it is very drinkable...but not to style. I was intrigued by the top beers in Zymurgy mag, but it looks like this was a ballot stuffer. =)

ndolover, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

rtepiak, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of crusian
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewing to syle... if reviewing to my personal taste, it would be a c-, d+

fresh ugly pug from their new factory... or roof, or rather, now that they are open. as you can see from the previous post to this one, about 3-4 months ago...

pours a nice black... darker than I thought. little to no head on it... detracts from it visually.

smells very smoky with lots of chocolate, though I am afraid it is a bit too cold to get much more off of it.

tastes very smoky, and light... kind of refreshing. very light for such a dark beer. you can tell it is a low abv. very distinct lager taste.

mouthfeel indicates much more carbonation than the head implies. which is good. mouthfel is nice, smooth, light.

very drinkable if you like this sort of thing. not a bad crossover beer for those on the fence about craft beer, as it has the light lager taste.

crusian, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

Redrover, May 27, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

hooliganlife, Apr 20, 2010
Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.