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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

391 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 391
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 19
Gots: 47 | 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: 391 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

msubulldog25, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%

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/

mikesgroove, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

johnnnniee, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of OStrungT
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

This beer pours a very dark brown color, with a fluffy light brown head. the head fades slowly, leaving a good lacing.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. It smells nutty also. It has a slight grainy aroma also. A very subtle coffee aroma is present.

This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. Coffee and sweet malt. Nutty. Some grain mixes in aw well. Maybe a very slight chocolate flavor.

This beer is slightly thin, but crisp. It leaves a nutty aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It seems low in alcohol, and the flavor is not aggressive.

Overall: Nice beer. A little boring, but not bad at all.

OStrungT, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%

Thanks to Assurbanipaul for this one.

Pours a dark brown with a slight 2 inch head that doesn't stick around and leaves no lacing. The aroma reminds me quite a bit of a pilsner or a dunkel. The nose is slightly grainy, a hint of sulfur, and roasted malt. The flavor follows suit, without the sulfur. It has roasted malts, sweet candy sugar, and just a hint of chocolate. It's really goes together well. The mouthfeel is a bit watery and slightly under carbonated. This is a really drinkable beer. Good stuff.

hwwty4, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of miket163
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%

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!

miket163, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of EGledhill
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

EGledhill, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%

Brown-black, tan cappuccino head that holds a ring but no lace.

Smell is burnt chocolate malts.

Taste is toffee, chocolate, adn roasted barley, with a bit of an off sweetnes.

Highly carbonated and medium bodied.

OVerall, an ok schwarzbier, but not the best. A decent beer

MSchae1017, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

brewdlyhooked13, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of gford217
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%

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.

gford217, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with good retention and a nice black color.

Coffee dominates the nose and overpowers the other smells that are underneath. Chocolate malt and toffee come out as well, but are masked. Nevertheless, the smell is very enticing.

Man, I was a little disappointed on the first sip. I have had threads stating why I think mouthfeel sometimes takes away from flavor. In this case it does. Sort of minty flavors upfront that fall short and leave little excitement to the tongue upfront. After that, Chocolate sweetness and coffee comes out, which is very nice, it's just that initial sweetness is dull and unexciting and the mouthfeel leaves a lot to be desired. As the beer wamrs, the beer does even out quite a bit, but it still falls a little bit short.

Mouthfeel is described above. It's overly watery on the finish and ruines the beer.

This beer has a lot of potential, but it lacks fullness on the palate and needs a little tweaking. Howver, I could still have a couple of these. The mouthfeel is a total buzzkill.

jasonjlewis, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of scootny
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%

This bottle from stumac. 12 oz. into my Brooklyn tulip tumber. A cola colored liquid with a nice one finger head. A touch of lace for a moment as it recedes. A clear brew that shows no carbonation activity.

Smell is light roasted grain, malt, and fruity yeast.

Taste is light roasted malt, some fruity appleness and a hint of soap. Mild hops in the finish. Lacks intensity a bit.

Mouthfeel is a tad light to me. Carbonation is nice but something seems lacking, Mostly roasted weight.

Drinkability is nice but it suffers from the feeling that the beer is a little light. Not bad at all, just no something special.

scootny, May 30, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%

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.

BuckeyeNation, May 19, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%

Thanks go out to hopsleeroy for this extra in a recent trade...

Pours out an almost opaque dark brown into my Duvel tulip with a quickly receding head...

Aroma of toasted malts with perhaps a hint of coffee in there somewhere...

More toasted malts in the taste.... none of the coffee that I got in the aroma...

Not outstanding but definitely has potential to be a nice little session brew.... This is a good little black lager.. Not my favorite style but I enjoyed this...

Tilley4, May 04, 2008
Photo of JonathanL7890
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

I picked up a single from a beerrun after the Fort Worth BA's were raving about this.
Poured a dark 2 finger head.
A: Hops, some coffee notes.
T: Roasty nicely balanced with hops.
M: Very good for this style. Has a nice rich mouthfeel. Schwarzbiers can be a bit thin.
D: Very good. This is a very good example of a schwarzbier, not my favorite style but I will buy it again.

JonathanL7890, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of rowew
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, label fittingly has a very ugly pug with an eyepatch. No date.

Appearance: Pours black, but looks a dark ruby when held to the light. Thin head fades to almost no lace.

Smell: A light roasted aroma, mainly clean malt.

Taste: Nice medium to thin body, just a hint of roasted aroma, solid malt backbone.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - nothing overly exciting, but a solid beer.

rowew, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of whoneeds8
2.4/5  rDev -33.5%

For a Black Lager, this is pretty watered down. It's drinkable, especially for someone who doesn't like a strong taste. But for someone looking for a complex taste, this is pretty spare.

There is a smokey taste, with a hint of licorice. The flavor goes away fast, there's not much of an after taste to it. There's really nothing to it, which IMO is the wrong way to make a black lager.

whoneeds8, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of HimerMan
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%

12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses, as per Rollinhard.

Very nice dark brown/ almost black with a slightly offwhite head that fades quickly.

Smell - nice malts with a mocha-esque aroma.

Taste - this is perhaps a bit like Heavyweight's Black Ocean - however, the malt is a bit less pronounced and has no bitterness at all.

Overall - this is very thin in flavor and lacks in the true complexities of this style. However, a nice beer that is definitely worth trying if you are able to pick them up.

Cheers.

HimerMan, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of hiikeeba
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%

A - Pours up dark brown with ruby highlight and a dense tan head.

S - Soft, roasty smell, slightly sweet background aroma.

T - Roasted flavor overwhelms everything.

M - Nice and thick.

D - A little too much of a one-note beer. It's not bad, but all there is is roasted malt.

hiikeeba, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of lawman834
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

lawman834, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%

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.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of EPICAC
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark, ruby-brown with a thick, beige head that retains well, leaving patches of lace.

Smell: Malty with roasty notes and a light fruitiness.

Taste: Malty upfront with a light toasty element, which quickly becomes roastier. Sweet through the center with hints of fruit before being met by more roasted, bitter flavors in the finish. There's also a light graininess in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, high-carbonation, but a tad watery.

Drinkability: Flavorful and balanced.

EPICAC, May 23, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%

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

russpowell, May 18, 2007
Photo of skillerified
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

skillerified, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%

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.

, Feb 09, 2007
Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 391 ratings.