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

410 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 21
Gots: 58 | 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: 410 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EGledhill
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
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.

Photo of gford217
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.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of scootny
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

Photo of Tilley4
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of JonathanL7890
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of rowew
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of whoneeds8
2.4/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of HimerMan
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of hiikeeba
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of lawman834
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
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.

Photo of EPICAC
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of russpowell
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

Photo of skillerified
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Photo of
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of biegaman
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!

Photo of mentor
3.7/5  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.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/amber, clear. No head. Nice carbonation.

Mild dark ripe fruit. Belgium candy sugar essence. Very light raisin. Toffee notes. Sour/tart edge.

Surprisingly weak taste. Mild chocolate/roasted/raisin.

Nice carbonation. Moderate foamation.

Refreshing brew. I disliked it at first, then it grew on me. Tastes like a watered down Porter/Belgium ale mix.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
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

Photo of deBeers
4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of BigRedN
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes. Had on week trip to Ft. Worth, TX.

Appearance: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thin 1/4 inch head, off white a little fizzy kinda like soda; disappears quickly. Beer is dark brown.

Smell: Some dark fruit, and a hint of smoke. Also as I get mid way through the six pack I start to pick up black licorice. Something a bit funky here. Just not digging the smell.

Taste: Mild taste. A little dark, roasted, malts (burnt caramel and smoked barley is the best I can describe it). Little to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body than expected, but not too watery. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy drinker, I enjoyed my 6-pack. Drinkable yes, but not real memorable.

Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.