Trösten | von Trapp Brewing

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141 Ratings

Brewed by:
von Trapp Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Smoke Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Translates to "comfort beer". A black lager with notes of roast and smoke. Rich flavor up front that finishes smooth and clean.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 141 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by Premo88:
Photo of Premo88
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into pilsener
(best by 4/23/18 printed on bottle; courtesy of @tongorad)

L: dark copper, SRM in the 23-25 range by my count, pushes up meringue-thick head of beige/tan foam at least 1.5 inches tall and crazy sticky; keeps a full 1/4-inch head and laces off it on the way down; a true work of art

S: dusty sour grain at first then a showcase of darker malt notes ... dark dried fruits, chocolate ... and as it warms and opens up, a hint of wood smoke;

T: sweet chocolate, mocha latte from first sip, then the chunk of earthy burnt BBQ wood hits ... it's bitter, biting, a bit smokey and proof Von Trapp did use some smoked malt; some prunes or raisins or maybe a meaty red wine note shows up at times, but the earthy bitterness always comes over the top in the aftertaste; the more you sip, the better it gets for the sweeter malt notes start growing, even equalling the burnt-malt notes

F: all you could ask for ... lightweight but filled out by a ton of carbonation that's slightly softened by drinking through the constant head; the mix of soft-crisp is a highlight, and that's saying something considering the fantastic nose and flavor

O: bravo! I've heard a ton about Von Trapp but never got to try one of their beers until now, and this smoked lager surpasses the hype; I've tried other beers that meld schwarzbier/stout/porters with smoked malt, but Trosten beats them all in the smoked-malt/rauchbier department ... the earthy/smokey flavor at times is as powerful as a true rauchbier, yet it backs off just enough to let the sweeter, more subtle schwarz notes enjoy some playing time. what a treat!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again, very much for this Craig. Prost!

The burnt brown body showcases gorgeous edges of dark brick red. Despite its deep tones, an excellent clarity is given away by the hazelnut shimmer at the bottom of the glass. A thin and creamy lightly tanned head rests above, leaving a thin sheet over the surface and a mountain range of lacing.

The aroma is in fact "comforting". More milk chocolate than anything, but that is accompanied by a deeply rooted toasty brown bread and the faintest hint of smoked nuts.

A well integrated trinity of flavors follows the aroma to a t. Surprisingly, the chocolate does take first stab but is quickly replaced by a squaw or even dark rye bread thanks to a hint of peppery spice. The toasted crusts carry smoothly and perfectly into a lingering sweet smoke. Subtle, but indefinite.

I am blown away by the texture. It's smooth and creamy, yet the lager cleanliness along with its crisp dry finish is perplexing and absolutely perfect. Spot on balance with a sweet start that gradually turns the dial to a toasty and smokey balanced bitter finish.

As with von Trapp's other offerings that I've been lucky enough to try, this is one outstanding beer. It seems much like their Dunkel with that minor smokey tweak. And yes, that to me means better. In fact, perhaps the only thing I'd like from this is a bit more smoke. Otherwise, as close to perfect a beer for me.


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Photo of angrybabboon
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/6/16

A: Pours dark brown with some medium brown around the edges - some clarity - pours with a medium size, beige head, fades to a few wisps of a cap, maintains a small collar and leaves some nice lacing

S: Lovely smoke aroma with some really nice depth - great amount of smoke, not too mild, not too extreme - burnt malts, char, touches of leather, smoked malt, smoked meat - some nice sweetness to balance out the smoke, burnt sugar, molasses, caramel

T: Less smoke than the aroma suggests, but still nicely smoky - smoke, smoked malts, smoked meat, char, brunt malts - some lager yeast and lightly spicy herbal hops - grains, caramel malts, dark caramel, burnt sugar, molasses, toffee - remarkably clean considering the style - medium amount of burnt bitterness

M: Medium body, creamy, smooth, dry finish

O: Comfort beer night

My interest in smoked beers is finicky, to say the least. But I like this. It's just the right amount of smoke. I'm not shocked, as von Trapp makes such consistently great lagers.

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Photo of seedyone
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Well made is the first thing tha comes to mind. The texture, aroma & flavors all fit together so well, you know the brewers know their stuff. Everything is really substantial but nothing crowds tthe stage.

Nice tan recedes to minor lacing & disappates on the way. The smokeness is more of a flavor then an aroma, which is rarely the case.

Great, smooth, unbitter, not beverage. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As noted below, the bottle does have a bit more smoke that I noted on tap, but it's still melded quite well into light pumpernickel-like bread of the base beer.

Clear dark brown body with a consistent head and spots of lacing.
Nose is a pumpernickel bread to dark pretzel with a light smoke and a little bit of toffee.
Taste is similarly bready with a tad more smoke than the nose, but still moderately light and well integrated.
Moderate carbonation up front, but a fairly smooth finish.

On tap review:
This has a lighter smoked note than the recent bottles I’ve had. The look is clear save for the color, which is a deep brown with a thin coffee color where light can get through. A persistent light beige cap provides some lace lines.

Nose is that of a lightly bitter brown ale, with just a hint more light florality that is either the yeast itself or its cleaner profile allowing some malt profile to come through. The smoke is of a light charred wood that has sat around and previously given off its harsher smokiness.

Taste is similar, a clean, balanced brown malt beer with a hint of smokiness. The malts lead the way, but it’s actually fairly dry. Carbonation is a little aggressive, but fades quickly to allow the medium light beer to hit the gullet smoothly enough. A light toasted malt coating with a hint of char stays lightly on the inner walls of my mouth.

I enjoyed the more smoke-forward bottles a tad more than this draft, but I’ll need to revisit this soon with an actual analysis of one of said bottles.

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Photo of BeerIsland
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I appreciated my daughter bringing a milk crate of Trapp lagers home for me and this is the first one I've cracked. The Trosten is a unique beer, quite unlike anything I've had. The smoke in this 1 liter flippy (is this really a growler?) was a little more prominent than I expected but still well balanced. The aroma is a bit more dark chocolate with nice the malt notes. There wasn't too much of a head the day after opening but there was only about 12 oz left in the bottle so I wasn't expecting long lasting fluff. This is a great beer to drink for a session on a snowy day; either sharing this generous package keeping all to one's self. Trosten translates more like solace than comfort although I think I understand what the Germans mean. Take off your shoes, put up your feet, and enjoy this beer from these excellent lager makers.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of JoeB51982
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of dacrza1
3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

DATE: February 9, 2018... OCCASION: kicking off the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang... GLASSWARE: PSU pilsner... pours a coal-black body,--almost cola--with a clumpy, pillowy oatmeal-colored head that occupies a finger's worth of the glass consistently... roasted malts come straight across as smoke, borderlining on the bacon, but with a slight plasticine/rubber scent mingling... light lactic scents too... first sip is medium-bodied, solid, textured at its finish, though a surprisingly creaminess softens the experience.... light to little carbonation... the flavor is cola sweet, with some milky and vanilla hints... light peat, medium smoke, and some phenol for a distraction--the light chocolate and hearty fruits make a late push--in all, I wish I had more than one to test its drinkability, but this one reads well at 6% ABV and rewards with little nuance but consistent flavor...

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Photo of KenC
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of nkersten
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was lucky enough to try a couple versions of this, review will be for the earlier version since the newest one was not quite done. Poured into Trapp Lager pilsner glass (very cool glassware), color is black with brown edges and an off white head, decent retention especially for the style. Smell is grainy and a bit roasted with some smokey undertones, slight hop presence but for the most part this is dominated by the malts. Taste is a great balance of raw grains, lightly smoked malts, and breadiness. Slight hop bitterness in the finish, very light and clean. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a medium active carbonation. These guys are making some excellent lagers, and this might be their best. A very drinkable beer, I love the subtle smoke flavors - perfect for the winter.

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Photo of slacker79
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Von Trapp Brewing "Trösten Lager"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BY 03/12/16" sampled 3 months late on 06/17/16...
purchased for $1.80 @ 802 BWS, Burlington, VT on 06/06/16

Despite the age I don't find any oxidation in this wonderful beer. I'm assuming that it's at least only partially filtered as it seemed to have a yeast pour, which probably helped.

It's an opaque brown-black in the glass beneath a rocky head of tan. Unfortunately the head retention and lacing leave much to be desired. The nose is delicately smoky and softly roasty, backed by notes of dark chocolate. The flavor is fuller and richer, and turns things around by offering a gently sweetish note of chocolate that becomes the main component edged by roastiness, some grassy and herbal hops, and light smokiness. It's balanced by a stiff bitterness, and it finishes soft and dry with the aforementioned notes lingering gently. It would have been easy to let this one finish roughly, but it's really quite smooth. The smokiness lingers on past everything else, reminding you to take another sip but never really building on the palate. Really nicely done. Very well balanced. Worth trying.

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 16 oz (473 ml) conical pint glass at Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY.
A: Pours a fairly clear, dark brown color with a less than one finger, tan head, with limited retention and some lacing.
S: Aromas of smoked ham, caramel, and cocoa predominate.
T: Semisweet and toasty. Flavors of smoked bacon, caramel, and cocoa certainly present, but picked up plum and berries as in warmed, possibly a lime note. Bitterness strong and provides counterpoise to both sweetness and roastiness.
M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: Trösten is a well designed, complex, and enjoyable rauchbier. An a acquired taste and tasting that requires patience.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass at the Farmhouse in Burlington VT. This was a little thicker, but not unreasonable. There's a big cocoa character, but it's dry and hardly sweet. It's a richer take on the style, and after also recently enjoying Flatbread/Zero Gravity's sub-4% schwarz, I can appreciate the benefits of a bigger beer. The extra chocolate candy and roasted barley create a wonderfully complex take on the style.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours black with a tan head.

S: Smoky, nutty.

T: Follows nose. A nice amount of smokiness. There's even a nice touch of hop bitterness and a light tartness on the finish.

F: Medium body, moderate to highly carbonated.

O: When I see this again, I will pick some more up.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a Weizen glass.

Pours a deep brown/near black (you can just make out some ruby along the bottom) with a ½ finger of mocha colored head. This retains with a thin filmy creaminess that keeps some richness to it and leaves back foamy spotty lacing. The aroma is floral up front but soon gives way to a sharp blend of acrid smoky roast and green smelling citric character. Light notes of cocoa and caramel add an extra touch of sweet tanginess to nose.

The taste has an assertive green citric bitterness that is initially cut by the sweetness of the malts before a second wave of roasted bitterness swoops in to finish this dry and burnt with some leftover lingering citrus notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth and crisp feel the whole way through. Maybe just a touch of underlying thickness is present where most of the malt activity here sits but this was pretty easy drinking overall.

Pretty darn solid Schwarzbier here, with just the right amount of well balanced roast and hop character that gave this a crisp and flavorful bite but without being overly aggressive with the bitterness. I will say that the roasted malts here did have an extra bit of a burnt smoky edge to that that really set this apart. Good stuff here from Trapp Family Lodge.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pilsener glass. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a one and a half foamy off-white to tan head. Light foamy lacing stuck around the sides of the glass nicely. The smell started with a delicate amount of sweet milk chocolate sliding into a graceful smokiness. Light roasty edges balance it out. The taste was semi-sweet and roasty initially bringing in the smoke to balance. Light bready/yeastiness flows nicely into the grand scheme of things. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium with a nice score of level maltiness sliding over my tongue. Overall, really nice Winter "comfort" lager well worthy of returning to in colder weather.

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Photo of TheGent
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OatmattStout
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a really excellent version of schwarzbier. Beautiful light born thick chunky head. nice dark color with a red hue in the light. what a nose on this beer of roasted malt. mild coco and chocolate. a touch of smoke that is perfect in its presence.
starts with a sweetness up front in palate then you get the roast, chocolate and a nice finish of hop and charred wood .

Love this beer and for someone who swears by Kostritzer the quintessential Schwarzbier I am truly impressed every year I buy this bear.

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Photo of liquorpig
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PJCarnell
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GrandpaGeorge
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at Philly's Craft Beer in Langhorne, PA. Make-your-own 6 pack single bottle. Always on the lookout for a good "Dunkel" style lager, I liked this one. Had I not known it was from a craft brewery in VT, the taste was definitely European. Deep brown (very dark) color in the glass with a nice head. Subtle carbonation and a rich mouthfeel. Very well balanced flavor--dark roasted (not coffee, but more "Postum") with the perfect hops behind it, complementing the richness of the malt with a welcome bitterness. Went down very easily. Went back and bought a 6 pack.

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Photo of BTVflatlander
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of robebo44
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Trösten from von Trapp Brewing
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 141 ratings