LTM's Rauchbier is a flavorful lager, rich and malty, with the smoked component arriving near the finish. Smoke, peat and barbecued sausage (again, only whiffs of this, nothing oppressive), with a bit of chocolate and dark fruit to boot. Finish is dry, smoky, and towards the end of the bottle surprisingly sour and puckery. Several moments after each sip, I get a nice hit of dark chocolate and cocoa.
Medium bodied, smooth, mild carbonation, slightly creamy.
The "rauch" character is certainly present, though nowhere near as powerful as the aforementioned Aecht Schlenkerla or the other German examples. After an initial hit, I became acclimatized to the smoked flavors, and thus I felt the brew could have handled a bit more umph. Still, this was a tasty brown lager with a nice little smoked character.
Another fine brew from Les Trois Mousquetaires. Probably not worthy of the so-called "four sword" rating, as I didn't feel that the smoked character was too much for less-seasoned palates to handle. It's actually a great introduction to the style, and a fun little beer to drink. The smoke flavor isn't overbearing, but the other dark lager flavors are more than enough to keep things interesting. (Grade: B+)