Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Vienna Style LagerTrader Joe's Vienna Style Lager

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282 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 282
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 13
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-23-2005)
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Ratings: 282 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cyberkedi
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark amber, rather typical but still appealing, with a fairly thick and persistent off-white head. Aroma is malty but not strong, nothing special but not bad either. Flavor is malty and has just a hint of fruit and a touch of caramel. Texture is fizzy and tingly. Overall, not too shabby.

Photo of mralphabet
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Light amber in color, very little head and no lacing.

S: Rich sweet malt maybe a little toasted.... slight peat moss smelling hops.

T: Very sweet malty with a very slight bitterness.... pretty plain Vienna Lager.. not bad at all...

M: Medium-light body with low carbonation. Very smooth aind easy going down... gets better as it warms.

D: It is a pretty average Vienna Lager and goes down very easy you could drink lots of these.

Hey it is worth a try and for the price it is a pretty good deal.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a light amber, almost caramel. Two fingers of head developed and dissipated to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Smooth toasted malts with a grassy, barnyard quality. I also picked up hints of coffee, milk chocolate, and citrus, mainly lemon. My first whiff reminded me of Red Trolley Ale.

Taste: The taste is an equally smooth caramel, though it's not as evident as it was in the smell. The toasted malts also come through, and there's a pleasant hop bite at the end. As it warmed I picked up the slight milk chocolate from the smell.

Drinkability: VSL is very drinkable, though it's not a hot day, tailgate brew. It's a high quality choice for a lager, on par with its neighbors in South Germany.

Photo of cnally
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A grand amber color, golden and tinted reddish. A decent sized head ofan off-white color fades down slowly and laces the glass like crazy.

A malt bomb on the nose...a rush of burnt sugars and fresh caramel attack your senses with a hint of nuttiness in the

Very bitter punch in the flavor, lasting not only through the iniitial taste but all the way on the finish. The malt that asserted itself in the aroma takes a backseat to the hops. Only toward the middle of the flavor does that sugary, nutty, caramel malt stand out, before the bitterness takes over the finish. Slightly woodsy and mossy overall.

Overly crisp and verging on fizzy...strange considering it doesn't look like it would feel this way.

Extremely tasty but bitter. I could see this being a once in a while kind of brew, and drinking too much is not recommended due to the imbalance between the sweetness and bitterness...but very decent indeed.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A finger of some gloriously fluffy, off-white to yellow tinted head. The head dissipates very quickly. A nice lighter amber, as in orange copper color.

Smell: The majority of the smell comes from malt and has a pretty clean smell profile. There is a little bit of biscuit aroma with some caramel and a hint of something that resembles lemon, which could be interpreted as grassy.

Taste: The taste is a simple, clean, smooth taste of sweet, caramel malt.
Mouthfeel: low to medium body, with maybe a little bit too much carbonation for me for this beer.

Drinkability: This beers mouthfeel doesn't really make it an incredibly drinkable beer for me due to the carbonation. However, it is not a bad beer by any means especially considering I am typically not a huge fan of lagers.

Photo of jwinship83
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2oz bottle purchased for a dollar. no freshness dating.

A- this one pours a clear light amber colored body with a finger of quickly diminishing egg shell colored head. the head leaves behind no lacing.

S- sweet caramel and bready malts upfront. more bread than caramel. nothing else much.

T- the bready malts dominate the front of this beer. there's some caramel in here too. a light noble hop bitterness at the end balances this one nicely.

M- medium bodied and creamy with a moderate level of carbonation.

D- for the price this is fantastic. easy to finish and something different that's pretty sessionable. ill check this one out again, and try some of the others in the Trader Joe's line.

Photo of Spikester
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nice clear amber with a decent head and very minor lacings. Aroma is mild malts. Taste is sweet dark malts with a Pilsner like bitterness to the hops. Pretty well balanced. Mouthfeel is good carbonation level alright. Slightly dry finish. Quite sessionable for a lager. Good value as well.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

TJ's Vienna Lager. I can see there's a little bit of slightly yellowed tan to the creamy one-finger head. Nice. The body is clear with a deep-amber/copper color. Pretty good head retention. Decent lacing. The aroma is solid, with a clean, distinctly grainy maltiness that's nutty and subtly caramelish. I don't find any hops, but they are there in the flavor - floral and spicy - backing the toasty maltiness. It's rich, but I don't want to say rich, I don't want to give the impression that it's bigger than it is. There's just the right amount of maltiness to it! And there's just enough Vienna malt in the grain bill that it's toasty, nutty and delicately caramelish with an almost fruity side as well. (Don't ask me to explain that, I can't, I don't know where it comes from but I find it in quite a few Vienna lagers/Maerzens where the grain bill has enough Vienna malt to do it). As usual, it's really well rounded with a malt focus and hop-spice accent; and it's perfectly balanced by a stiff bitterness that allows the malt to shine but keeps it from becoming cloying. It finishes dry, but with some residual malt and hops lingering behind. This can be a hard style to do because it's easy to go too light or too full, but they've nailed it. I'd even prefer this to some of the more watered-down versions coming out of Germany for Oktoberfest these days. Really nice! Worth trying!

Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp easy to drink and cost effective would be the major benefits of this particular brand.

I'm getting a bit of carmel, slight hops, some malts. Overall I'd say this is good, very drinkable. Again this is another beer that I don't find all that complex, but easy to drink. Would buy again.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Solid amber color, one finger head.

S- Medium caramel malt aroma.

T- Nice blend of sweet caramel and toasted malts. There's a nice complimentary subtle hop note towards the end. Finishes smooth and semi-dry.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D- Well most Vienna lagers are pretty drinkable.

Not bad at all, pretty spot on for the style.

Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a real light clear root beer color almost like an orange and light amber with minimal white head and very little if any sediment.

Caramel malt aroma with some barley grain notes.

A crisp caramel malt taste with a crisp hint of florals and a slight butter flavor in the background.

Light/medium bodied, slightly buttery and a resinous feel, with lively soft carbonation.

A definite session beer and a good example of the style. Buy one for a buck at Trader Joes.

Photo of Jimbo87
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale copper with off-white head.

S: Buttery toast, faint grain.

T: Faint sweet grain and buttery toast. Malt more flavorful as it warms up.

MF: good. Nice carbonation.

D: High. Not too flavorful before it warms a bit. I thought Boston Lager and maybe Brooklyn lager were vienna lagers, and so I expected this to taste more like those, but this really tastes nothing like those; for example I can't say I detected hops at all in this. Very much on the malty side. But it's cheap, so it's worth trying in case you like it.

Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an clear, bubbly orange/amber color with a foamy, white, one-finger head that left no lace.

S - It smelled malty and earthy. Not much else in the way of aroma.

T - It tasted of biscuity malt and slightly grassy hops. It was fairly sweet.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay vienna lager. Very easy to drink and very affordable.

Photo of beveritt
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label is mainly brown hued and shows a streetscape of older European buildings. No easily discernible freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of nearly white head. This settles quickly to a thin coating of foam, leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is amber with a slight chill haze. Moderate activity. Some sediment int he bottle, interesting for a lager.

Smell:Sugary sweet caramel malt with an underlying graininess.

Taste: Very grainy taste upfront, leading into a semi sweet malt backbone. Mild hop bitterness in the finish, with a lingering reappearance of the graininess.

Mouthfeel: Slightly lower than average carbonation level, lends a flatness to the overall taste of the beer. Body is good.

Drinkability: An overall mediocre beer. The fresh grain smell and flavor is impressive and refreshing, but not much else going for it. My first and last of this one.

Photo of argock
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Batch number on back label but no decipherable freshness date. Single purchased from TRader Joe's (Richmond, VA) for $1.

A: Solid orange-amber with 2-finger beige head that doesn't retain all that well but does leave scraps of lace down the glass.

S: Dominated by sweet cereal grains with light caramel notes and grassy hops

T: The flavor is surprisingly full despite the relatively light aroma, albeit it is a bit backwards. Initially the flavor is cereal grain with lightly buttery caramel and enjoyable breadiness. Then near the finish a second sweet blast of caramel followed by a subdued grassy and lightly floral hops finish.

M: Somewhat creamy due to the low-medium carbonation and lack of dryness. Aftertaste is cracker and bread.

D: One of the better of the Trader Joe's offerings. Along with Winterfest Lager and Trinity Ale, I'll be bringing back some of these in 6'ers to take to poker night in the future. A solid amber lager that I actually enjoy more than SA Boston Lager for its mellowness.

Photo of Tone
2.35/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear amber color with decent head. Poor head retention and little lacing. Smells of lager cleanliness and some grass. Sharp, rather sour aftertaste that lessens with more drinks. Stronger than average carbonation. Rather bland characteristics plus the sour taste makes it hard to recommend this brew.

Photo of lhaqq
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Had from the bottle, so can't say too much about the color.
S: Light smell of roasted malts and some grains.
T: Kinda tastes like malt liquor but more flavorful and malty.
M: Clean and smooth but loses its carbonation too quickly.
D: A good beer to have with a meal (Thai is what I had) or over a game of cards, but nothing amazing.

Photo of garymuchow
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ar - nice malt character slightly sweet with toast with a touch of wateriness (3.5)
Ap - Pours with a nice head that is way too brief and ends up leaving a very clear amber fluid that appears to hold very little carbonation, but looks good other than that (3)
Fl - Seems to hold a fresh unhopped wort taste before the hoppy character moves in with a mild bitterness and a slightly dry finish (with some length). (3.5)
Mf - Lighter body with low carbonation, esp. for style and lighter lager. (3.5)
D - drinks well with a lighter body. Sweetness isn't over the top. This isn't a great beer, but it tastes like a Vienna lager and goes down easily. (4)
thanks John

Photo of asabreed
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker copper with hints of amber, decent foamy white head retention.

Smell: There's an odd cidery aroma to this that seems like it's masking the malt flavors a bit, with earthy hops flavors and some bread and grain.

Taste: Again, the cidery residual sugars seem to be at the forefront and make it a bit too sweet, and a bit too cloying, letting hints of nice graininess and citrus hops in, but that's it, hints, with a quickly fleeting finish also.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and slick in the body with an over-ripe burst of carbonation near the end.

Drinkability: Not bad for the price I suppose, and it can be sessioned, but more flavor and a bigger body would do a lot for this brew.

Photo of funkyspunk87
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Style: Vienna Lager
ABV: 5.70 %

Straight out of the bottle.

Overall an okay beer but I would not get it's the first of a Trader Joe's sampler I got so I am not to excited about the rest.

FYI - you can fill any sixer with any 6 beers to form a sampler at Trader Joe's.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper with an inch of off white foam. Doesn't last long.

S - Hella malty, with some apple, raisin.

T - Malty with toasted caramel notes and a touch of apple. Somewhat tart up front and a sweet, malty, middle. Finish is a light hop bitterness.

M - Moderate body. Smooth.

D - Pretty good, solidly malty lager.

Photo of burnstar
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber copper color with a medium head. Some lacing on the surface. Aroma is muted herbal and grassy hops. Taste is mostly caramel and toasted flavors. Becomes a little sweet then finishes with a slight bitterness. Some herbal hops. Medium bodied, not overly carbonated. Quite drinkable. Overall a pleasant malty beer.

Photo of HalfFull
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pilsener glass. Pours a rather clear orange amber hue with a short lived head and light lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a touch of floral hops. Distinctive Vienna malt scent. Has a bit of a smoky peat smell as well.

Nice lightly sweet malty taste, nothing too extravagant. Heavy carbonation gives the beer a light feel. As this diminishes the finish improves a bit and gives the brew a more moderate body. A bit bland in the end, lack of a lingering finish surprised me given the malt structure.

Edit: Tried again Jan. '09. Smell is lighter, taste is flatter and offers lighter carbonation. Dinged the taste .5 as a result. The dumbing down continues I guess.

Photo of gpogo
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear light amber with off-white head that disapppears.

A- Rich malt aroma slightly toasted smells.

T- Very sweet malty flavour balanced by a slight bitterness. I would have liked it to be slightly more bitter. Finishes leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body with low carbonation. Very smooth with a slight alcohol warming.

D- A pretty average vienna lager. For the price it's worth it, especially if someone offers you one. I wouldn't go out of my way looking for this brew though.

Photo of montageman
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

The Vienna lager is one that is not brewed as much as it should be in my estimation. To me, this style is an excellent first beer for those unfamiliar with craft brewing. This particular take on this style is well done. Sweet, malty and crisp, there is nothing objectionable here. The mouthfeel is a little sticky, but overall this is a well made lager that is very easy to drink. Recommended.

Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.