Ugly Pug Black Lager
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager
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Style:
German Schwarzbier
Ranked #131
ABV:
4.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #39,497
Avg:
3.65 | pDev: 13.97%
Reviews:
182
Ratings:
532
From:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
 
Texas, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  31
Gots
  151
SCORE
83
Good
Ugly Pug Black LagerUgly Pug Black Lager
Notes:
Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 532
Photo of CEversole
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown almost black color. Not much for a head, dissapates very quickly. Not much for lacing either. Looks very clear and filtered when held to the light.

S: Smells of malty caramel. Maybe a slight hoppy aroma.

T: Typical for a black lager all the ingredients are there. Coffee, toffee, caramel, I think I taste a hint of chocolate in the background. Not bad at all.

M: I was slightly disapointed here its not very crisp and could use more carbonation. Taste sorta flat. As I have read from other BA's this must be a typical description of the mouthfeel of this beer. One BA even described it as a "Flat Coke".

O: This is not a bad beer at all. However there is room for improvement. I've had better and I've had worse.

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Photo of gtermi
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a nice black with a white head.

S: I am getting a lot of roasted malt and coffee from this beer and find it very enjoyable.

T: The beer is sort of weak, but still has a decent amount of sweetness, roasted malt and some chocolate.

M: This isnt the smoothest beer, but still very enjoyable.

O: I love going to the Rahr tour and having this on draft. It is a good beer and I love getting it once in a while. This to me is Rahr's most popular beer.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in Dallas just before I went to the American Airlines Center to watch the Blackhawk's first game of the season. (Oct 7)

It came in an ice cold bottle and was accompanied by a frozen mug. I had to let it warm up a bit.

As with most schwarzbiers you are going to get a dark beer that is not too heavy but not too light. And I think Ugly Pug lived up to the style. It had all the malty characteristics one would expect to find in a dark beer. It was roasty and toasty. I was expecting a little bit more, but I was happy with what I got.

My only real complaint was that it was a little bit too carbonated for my taste. However, it's ease of drinkability made this easy to overlook.

This will probably be my go-to brewery whenever I find myself in Texas.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Tumbler

Appearance-Pours a dark brown with a two finger tan head. Dissipates quickly leaving a thin film on top during the whole drink.

Smell-Smoke, Some sweet dark fruits. Some subtle chocolate.

Taste-At first it tastes like absolutely nothing, then some sweetness and some bitterness and black pepper spice comes in. Finish carrys over the smokiness and some fruit. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel-It's clean, but it's like a flat coke. Not very enjoyable mouthfeel which is a shame b/c the taste really isn't thad bad.

Overall-I do not enjoy Rahr and Son beers but going to a local beer store that didn't have anything that I wanted to buy I just bought this single for 1.50 so I didn't walk out w/ nothing. However, this is the best of all the Rahr and Son brews i've had.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately I don't think others are grading this beer by style. It nails the style of a schwartzbeir. Dark black with a creamy white head, nice retention and lacing.

The aroma is big on roasted malts and coffee with some earthy notes and a touch of cocoa. Simple, earthy, and dark.

Nice light body with roasted coffee and cocoa flavors. Clean with some earthy tones.

Nice light body and balanced

Very easy to drink and enjoyable.

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Photo of Preisman
2.44/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Very underwhelming in most aspects. There was not as much full flavor that you might expect from a black lager. The aroma was very soft and did not tease me into the drink. Never while having it did I want to continue my drink. Easily said, it was very boring. There was nothing great or even good about this beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recieved as an extra in a trade with texasclimber.

A - Actually a pretty nice looking beer. Really is about black, with red and brown running through it in the light. Small off-white head rose up a half a finger and dissipated to nothing rather quickly. Nothing left on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, slightly acidic, bit of lagar yeast. Little bit of unsweeted chocolate and some caramel.

T - Roasted malt, bit of coffee. Some chocolate, some yeast on the end. It's slightly bitter and acidic. Easy to drink.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied with fairly middling carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer. It's unspectacular but it was a nice thirst quencher for me that I killed in about three minutes. Wouldn't mind it again after a workout.

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Photo of Everdrift
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ugly Pug is a really cool brew. You get a pretty big, though not overwhelming taste of a dark beer while still being able to enjoy a rather light body. That's the schwartzbier style. I haven't had a ton of different schwartzbiers, but this is definitely far from the worst of the lot I've tried. The roasted malts really give you that big flavor of coffee. It's very drinkable, due to it's lighter body, so get ready to put down a few of these without feeling like you made a mistake.

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Photo of nhindian
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of mjurney
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Ruslanchik
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of mikestan06
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of jale
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of JMad
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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 +2.2%
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.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.76/5  rDev +3%
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 -14.5%
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 -3.3%
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 +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.43/5  rDev -6%
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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Ugly Pug Black Lager from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 532 ratings