Ugly Pug Black Lager - Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager

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164 Reviews
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Reviews: 164
Hads: 440
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 23.55%
Wants: 25
Gots: 102 | 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: 164 | Hads: 440
Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
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

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.12/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.43/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Kromes
3.9/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of KateMcN
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of ndolover
3.1/5  rDev -14.1%
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. =)

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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.

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Photo of crusian
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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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!

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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.

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

Pours a black, barely see-through color with a little head. Has a great consistency, light.
Smells of aromatic hops, and maybe a little sweets, but not much.
Tastes like the hops, and have just a bit of the character I would get from a bock. Has a really light feel to it, and the flavor is refreshing.

I like this beer a lot! Great job!

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Photo of GregSVT
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this of my all time favs from Rahr. Had on tap at the brewery and out of the bottle but I'll review the on-tap version.

A: Pours black with very little light coming through. A big dark brown head slowly fades to a small layer and leaves a ton of lacing.

S: The nose is full of cocoa, chocolate malts, coffee, and a slight sweetness.

T: The taste is excellent with a big dose of chocolate and coffee with a malty sweetness and a slightly roasty/bitter finish.

M: The feel is creamy and smooth...very porter-ish.

D: This is one of the most drinkable dark beers I've had. The ABV is incredibly low for a beer with this much flavor. I sat and drank 4 or 5 of these during the big game on Sunday and wasn't even phased.

This is very close to being a porter...if it was a tad darker I'd say it was. If you can find it on tap it's excellent...the bottle falls a bit short of this score in the mouthfeel department but it's still good.

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Photo of rfabian
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it produces a half inch head that leaves fair lacing. The appearance is dark reddish-brown and clear when held up to the sunlight, almost opaque by ambient light indoors. The aroma is mostly of toasted grain and malt with a hint of earthy hops. The flavor is surprisingly sweet, toasty, malty with little bitterness, almost like a bock. But the feel is on the light-bodied side, and the finish is of slightly bitter malt.

This is a very refreshing, enjoyable and drinkable beer, a good session choice.

This beer seems to follow what is becoming a Texas tradition of light bodied maltiness with a light hop presence in beers, going by the styles of St. Arnolds, Real Ale, and Spoetzl.

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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

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to JJFoodie for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, very nice carbonation, very nice two-finger fizzy/foamy light tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some roasted nuts, toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, with some roasty notes, and a nice little touch of toffee. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty little brew.

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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.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into a pint glass. dark opaque brown, ruby fringe, small head

S - burnt bread. not much else, but mmm.

T - toasty but balanced, finishes pretty bitter

M - somewhat sticky, but otherwise light body

D - easy drinking in most every respect save the fairly unusual flavor

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Photo of tatoodkelt
2.43/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this one in trade from gramatton, thanks again man!

Consumed 12/15/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with ruby edging when held up to the light. Topped off by a one finger soapy, khaki colored head that faded almost instantly to a patchy skim.

S- Smoked brown bread with an odd almost metallic skunk note sneaking in.

T- The metallic skunk has almost completely pushed aside any other flavors and picked up a little nail polish note along the way.

M- Medium bodied and smooth.

D- I only got about a third of the way through this one before it went down the drain. I'm assuming it was a bad batch and if I ever get to try it again I'll update the review.

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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.

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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.