Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager

Pugs can be cute. I really like dogs, and I have some of my own. Pretty much ever since I grew up, I've tried to have at least one pup around the house. Ugly pugs? Yeah, I've seen them. Sometimes they are so ugly that they're cute, and that may very well be the idea behind the name of this beer.

This is more of a mahogany than a black beer. I have no shortage of truly black beers where manufacturers hint at their "ruby" or "dark wood" colors when, in reality, they just need to embrace the blackness. Unfortunately, it appears this deep mahogany ale has been labeled "black," and it seems I can't win. There's no head on this beer, BTW, and the aroma is roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

First sip is pretty nice. It has the roasted coffee grounds, but they are light, having been derived from the malt, which I've always argued is the place for them to come from. As a result, the chocolate and grainy malts are allowed to play around with a little of the caramel. It's surprising how light the whole sip seems to be, and it makes me want to swig.

Tip-in is light carbonation tingle with caramel and sweetness right in the front of the mouth. The middle becomes a much sharper carbonation burn with the coffee coming in, carting the very dark chocolate and toasted malt with it. The finish is bitterness and a charred log with the bitterness remaining for a while.

Bottom Line: It's dark and it's pretty good.

3.0/5

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