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Viru - AS Tartu Õlletehas

Not Rated.
ViruViru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
65
poor

130 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 130
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 2.72
pDev: 22.06%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AS Tartu Õlletehas visit their website
Estonia

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Suds on 03-31-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of evlu1441
3.03/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In its lovely angular bottle, Viru is the only Estonian beer I have ever seen in Canada, and the only Estonian beer I've ever heard of. It's a tiny country, so you can't blame them for not having a whole lot of beers.

The beer has a medium straw colour with a decent amount of carbonation and a thin but nice-and-foamy head sitting on top.

The aroma is light and grainy, but also has a faint vanilla smell too. Interesting, if not especially great.

The taste is surprisingly multifaceted! It's very smooth and sweet towards the end, where ther vanilla notes come through nicely. There isn't much of a hop profile, but it is a very smooth and drinkable lager.

Overall, this is a better-than-average offering, and pretty good if it actually is an Adjunct lager.

evlu1441, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of avalon07
2.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a clear consistency. There was almost no head to speak. No real lacing either.

S: A decidedly muted aroma of hops, malt and a grassy quality.

T: Tasted of hops, a little lemon, malt, and the grassiness. Not a whole lot going on with this one. Very thin and watery, without much character.

M: This is a beer in need of some carbonation, though it does have a decently crisp and dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is just another bland Euro lager that just happens to come in a cool-looking bottle.

avalon07, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of keethrax
2.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

MGD imported in a fancy (and small) bottle.

Got this as a Christmas gift, no doubt due to the admittedly neat bottle.

Like your big brewery american beers there's not much *wrong* with this, but really not much right with it either. Which would be OK at the prices charged by the big and (relatively) local guys.

Appearance: Straw yellow, quickly dissipating head.

Smell: Almost nonexistant (which beats the frequent reports of skunked bottles)

Taste: MGD but a little sweeter.

Mouthfeel: Light and pleasantly fizzy.

EDIT: This one actually improved when served at what I would consider too warm for the style. As such, I've edited my ratings a bit.

keethrax, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of kevosbob
1.45/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Viru, also know as “A. Le Coq Premium Extra,” is an adjunct style lager brewed in Estonia. Viru is brewed by the Baltic Beer Company at the A. Le Coq brewery in Tartu. Introduced in the United States in December 2009, Viru is imported by C2 Imports, based in Denver, Colorado. Viru is probably most famously know for the distinctive octagonal pyramid shaped bottles intended to resemble the medieval-era turrets found in Estonia. At a 5% alcohol by volume this light beer is brewed with malted barley from Lithuania, water drawn from artesian wells at the brewery, and Saaz hops.

The color of this beer is a pleasant golden yellow that is slightly hazy. Personally, I enjoy this compared to the super filtered American style adjunct lagers. The head is foamy and white and lasts longer than expected for this style of beer. The nose of this beer is very slight but notes of cereal and musky hops can be picked up. Unfortunately, a copper or mineral aroma can be picked up to which may be intentional by using water from artesian wells

When drinking this beer it was maltier than expected with a mellow sweetness. It tastes like it smells with bread or cereal flavors and grassy, musky, spicy hops to add to the bitterness. The high carbonation makes the beer crisp on the tongue, but the beer has very few flavors to start with so the crispness doesn’t last long. The hops are mostly aroma based and there is no alcohol warmth, and even though it’s not a bad beer, it does seem to lack in quality and craftsmanship.

This is actually a pretty good summertime beer to accompany any hot day, but because of the price it really isn’t worth buying over other adjunct lagers. It would be great if it was sold in 30-rack quantities, but for $4+ for a 10 ounce bottle, this beer is not worth the price. The unique bottle is really the only thing that sells this beer and it’s too bad the beer doesn’t match the distinctive packaging. I would only suggest this beer for a die-hard fan of bohemian pilsners, and even then I hesitate.

My Beer Rating: 1.5

kevosbob, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of rsdaugherty
2.42/5  rDev -11%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A – Very thin white foam fades to near nothing quickly; brew is a clear well carbonated pale straw yellow 2.0
S – Very mild – sweet grains, dough, grass 2.5
T – A mild sweet malt grainy lager beer with a fizzy odd finish, very pedestrian 2.5
M – Utterly lacking mouth feel, very watery & thin, it is wet and has carbonation 2.0
O – Estonia checkmark is the sole reason to visit this beer, very light and drinkable but unenjoyable for me and I will not be buying or drinking this again when my 4 pack is gone. 2.5

rsdaugherty, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of JLeege
1.2/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bought because the bottle looks so stupid and awesome at the same time.

Appearance- Pours a clear straw, with a finger of bubbly white head, quickly dissipated.

Smell- Oh hell. Slight earthy hops, and a bunch of skunk. One of the few truly skunked beers I have smelled.

Taste- Slight hops, very grainy, and skunk. Spoiled rotten eggs and sulfur.

Mouthfeel- Light body and carbonation.

Overall- What a disaster! About 4 ounces was more than enough.

JLeege, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
1.6/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Cool bottle. I'm not ashamed to say that I bought this beer for the bottle alone, although the fact that I've never had an Estonian beer factored into the decision as well.

Pours a deep golden colour with huge bubbly carbonation. The large bubbles even stick to the outside of the glass rather than rising to the surface, giving you a good look at just how large and unseemly they are. Head froths then disappears almost immediately. Looks very worrisome.

Nose is slightly metallic and otherwise slightly skunky. If it weren't a brown bottle I'd attribute it to green bottle light strike. Otherwise very little; at its core, it's a very bland aroma.

Taste is also very, very bland. Light metallic hiss on the tongue, minimal malt, but a biting almost chemical bitterness on the back that seems thin and weak, but without any body. It's too noticeable. Really not good.

Yep, pretty appalling brew, this one. Very artificial tasting, thin, weak and unpleasant.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
2.33/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

6/26/2011

Bottle shared by Greg (stoad) at Sour Fest, thanks! I think I've been subconsciously longing to try an Estonian adjunct lager.

A: An unremarkable but not unsurprising transparent yellow gold with a fleeting white head.

S: Bread and cereal grain with some doughy notes. These pleasant elements are obliterated by a pervasive skunkiness accompanied by corn and a little vegetal character.

T: Lightly sweet with notes of corn, vegetal (faint), bread, skunkiness, and a little spiciness. Finish is clean and unremarkable.

M: Light in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is thin and watery.

Overall: Not a good first impression from Estonia. I was expecting more from this country.

HopHead84, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
2.1/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks for sharing this obscure beer, Greg.

A: The pour is a clear golden yellow color with a short lived white head.

S: Smells of chile peppers more than anything. A very green, spicy aroma which is quite strange. Skunk, yeast, and water make up a decent amount of the aroma, too.

T: Sweet and sugary with a definite corn and vegetable flavor. The odd spiciness and chile pepper character is also present. Other than the bad and strange, this is pretty watery.

M: Light in body with a medium carbonation.

O: This was one of the strangest beers I've ever had. And not a very good one.

womencantsail, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.9/5  rDev +43.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lookin good, clear gold with a fast blend of carbonation leading to a one finger of white fluff....

Bready and mild yeast, and a spent grains in the nose

Wet wheat, and some sourdough pillar on top of a sweet peachy malt. This is actually a great flavored beer, perhaps because my expectations were so low and the prior reviews were bad as well.

Light and medium bodied, very clean with the ability to linger on the tongue for a few moments

Overall let it warm up and it blooms, I loved it!

JoeAmerican77, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
2.7/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

10 ounce bottle, date on bottle cap of 07.10.10. The bottle was stored in the cooler at the Party Source, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere close to being fresh at this point. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy gold color with a half inch white head. The head went away quickly, and there isn't much lacing, either. Aroma is sweet and bready malt. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a weird bitter taste that I don't care for. Mouthfeel/body is light, and it's a bit slick. It's also smooth and goes down easy. For the style it's not a bad brew. Worth a try if you can get a single bottle of it like I did. I might have to try a fresher bottle of this in the future.

bluejacket74, May 28, 2011
Photo of BestOfBatonRouge
2.73/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Like many I picked this up due to it's bottle. In Louisiana it completely stands out and I just had to have it. It poured light gold very highly carbonated and had a strong hissing with lots of bubbles. The head dissipated fairly quickly. The first sip is by far the best for this beer. At first on the front it's very malty and tasty. After that it flattens out considerably and becomes very average. I wouldn't buy it again at the price but the bottle still is cool.

BestOfBatonRouge, May 22, 2011
Photo of damndirtyape
3.83/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single 10oz bottle (no date) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pale straw color with a faint haze to it and a thin white head. Good lacing noted, even after swirling to get some of the smell.

Smell: A lot like a sweet roll - very bready, but with some sweeter malts thrown in there. There is something like a floral or herbal smell waaaay in the back - but it is hard to tease out.

Taste: Very mild beer. Sweet bready malts up front, then a hint of apple and a very mild honey and grainy finish. Hops are absent. While on the sweet side of things - not at all bad.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation on the tongue and then a smooth and slick mouthfeel.

Overall / Drinkability: First of all, I don't think this is an adjunct lager. It has aspects of one, but it's very different and the website for the brewer doesn't claim to have adjuncts present. So maybe this is a Euro pale lager? Anyway, it's pretty good overall. Very drinkable - I could easily have another one or two of these, especially with the smaller bottle size. I originally picked it up just for the weird bottle but now that I've had it - I'm very glad I did have it and I'll have to get it again. A bit pricy since it's coming all the way from Estonia, but not a bad beer at all. I was expecting worse due to the reviews, but no, it's not that bad at all and is a very drinkable beer.

damndirtyape, May 16, 2011
Photo of keeganfrank
4.2/5  rDev +54.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frosty golden liquid with a finger of head that goes right away. Smells very bready, also some banana, corn and very faint citrus. Tastes like crisp vegetables with sweet fruit. For an adjunct lager this stuff is really, really good. I'd drink it all the time if I lived in Estonia.

keeganfrank, May 03, 2011
Photo of mdunman
3.63/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Transparent gold with a decent white head

S: Light maltiness with some lemony hops

T: Sweet maltiness up front with a twist of lemon, followed by some weighty hops.

M: Light body with decent carbonation and a semi-smooth finish

I originally bought this because it had an awesome bottle and it was fairly cheap. But after cracking it open I found it to be a surprisingly pleasant experience. I wouldn't rush back for more, but I would definitely come back at some point. Good summer day beer.

mdunman, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presented in an oddly charming six-sided obelique looking bottle- slender and elegant, Viru takes on bohemian proportions and weight for a fuller flavor than what's expected from adjunct ridden beers.

Medium gold in color and with a medium haze, the beer carries a visual weight that is more formitble than expected. A foamy white head forms and sits on the beer with solid persistence. Low lacing leads to the lack of character for adjuncts.

Medium apple and pear esters are a nice complement to the hop aroma that borrow notes of lemongrass and floral compounds. All backed by a malty/grainy blend for a well balanced nose. Bready/doughy and yeasty spice tell me that this is better beer than I expected.

Flavors also represent a sturdy malt backbone with raw barley sweetness and starchiness and a non-descript sweetness from cereal grains. Mild ester flavors of apples, pears, along with a light lemon acidity seem to surpress the sulfur taste and allow for a seamless bridge to herbal and grassy bitterness in finish. All in all, a nice but not over stated taste.

Again, a more robust or starchy body gives added creaminess and weight to the beer that never waivers- fuller and more robust than ususal, the beer seems very Maibock-like. But the sweetness lingers in the finish to rival the crisp and bitter dryness that the minty alcohol and hops provide.

Fans of bohemian pilsners and German Maibocks may want to give this beer a shot- robust for a lager and surprisingly flavorful and textured for any beer that includes adjunct grains.

BEERchitect, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-very light transparent gold with a very thin head. very bubbly with some floaties.

S-smells a lot like any other american adjunct lager. smells like rice and corn malts. has a medium scent.

T-looks awful, smells awful, tastes....surprisingly decent. comes in with smooth and creamy corn malts. it transforms in to a sweet buttery rice flavor. considering the style, this is better than i expected. there lacks a potent after-taste.

M-high and creamy carbonation with a crisp finish

D-this is probably one of the best adjunct lagers i've had to be honest. it goes down so easily. i honestly feel that BMC drinkers would prefer this to...well...BMC. my glass disappeared quickly.

AdamBear, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of farrago
3.73/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Close to two finger head of bone white and delicate microfoam, hard to even see the contour of most of the bubbles, retention is slight at best, simmers down swiftly, lacing fares about the same, some immediate stick then gone. Clear golden straw color to the liquid, pale yet attractive, only sparse bubbles visible, not much difference towards the rims. Noticeably sweet nose of corn syrup, honey, cane sugar and potato bread, waft of orange citrus, rice and mixed grain, no real herbaceous character, highly innocuous. Medium-bodied, good solid bottom keeps it anchored in the palate, remains on the sweet side here too with that corn and other adjuncts, honey and caramel, the orange citrus pulp and sweet, notes of standard peach and apricot fruit. Moderate hay, meadow grasses, once more avoids any really herbal bite or overall bitterness. The carbonation is light but tight enough to help it finish with elevating dryness. Nothing really noteworthy, does have high drinkability and general smoothness.

farrago, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.95/5  rDev +45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viru has a thin, white head and a cloudy, straw appearance, with some bubbles streaming up and no lacing. The aroma is bready and yeasty, and the taste is likewise bread oriented with almost no hop bitterness showing up. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Viru finishes refreshing and semi-dry. Overall, this is a good beer and certainly worth a try, although the 10 oz. bottle in a bad value.

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of CrazyMike
2.83/5  rDev +4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow apperance with little head that disapears quickly. Smell is hard to pick up, there is some grain and sweetness.

Taste is similar to the smell, sweet and grainy. There is a lingering maltiness to it. Body is light, but clean and creamy, with light carbonation. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.

Overall, really mediocre but it is refreshing. The bottle alone is a reason to get this, but it is like any other adjunct lager.

CrazyMike, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
3.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a pale straw yellow color. One and a half figner head shows poor retention. Light streak of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweetness off the bat with a hint of cereal grains. Nothing else really...although the flavor for what it is is very clean.

T- Sweetness that was in the aroma is coming off as the first taste in the beer. There is some light cereal grains that comes and goes rather quickly before giving way to light alcohol bite. Plain and simple this beer's flavor just is average at best with no off flavors.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high for the beer I think but typical for the style. Sweet corn notes left on the palate. Aftertaste is a sweet alcohol and that seems about it and nothing else. No off flavors at all and actually for what it is very clean. Light drying on the palate from alcohol.

D- With this beer not being full of off flavors like a lot of adjunct lagers it makes it very drinkable. Refreshing? Well that might be pushing it. Although I really did like this beer for what it was I wouldn't drink a sixer although if it were hot outside I think I might.

alleykatking, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of cudmud
2.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The color is an extreme pale yellow. I don't think that I've ever seen a beer this pale. There is little head and almost no lace.

Smell: These is almost no smell. If I was blind, I don't think that I would ID this as beer from its smell.

Taste: There is almost no flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thin.

Drinkability: You can drink it. It's not a bad beer as far as taste and smell go. That's to say it doesn't taste or smell bad. It's as if someone wanted to make a beer with no flavor or smell. It that's the intent, this brew is a smashing success.

They did go all out with a cool bottle.

cudmud, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.18/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An awesome bottle plus an Estonian beer... what's to complain about?

pours a typical lager-ish mellow yellow hue, crystal clear with a surprisingly decent head with fair retention. minimal lacing.

aroma is typical adjunct lager. pale malt, a hint of earthy eastern european hops, maybe a smidgen of vegginess. smells like crackers.

taste follows aroma. clean, simple light malt profile. hints of hops... a few more and this could be impressive... but it's a clean and refreshing malt profile. I've had much worse.

Mouth is clean, crisp, and just a touch creamy. ample carbonation keeps it light and clean.

All in all, as far as Amer. Adj. Lagers go, this one is really not all that bad. seems a bit cleaner than many. Not a beer I'd really crave, and it's not exactly cheap... but it's certainly not the worst. And by far the best Estonian brew I've had.

djeucalyptus, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Rayek
3.03/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I mainly grabbed this simply because Estonia's finest comes in one of the most unique bottles I've ever seen. The beer itself is OK, but nothing to write home about.

A: Brilliant straw with very active carbonation. A dense pillow of white foam sticks the whole way down the glass and leaves bits of lace.

S: Very light. Straw, plus cut grass and that's pretty much it. Maybe a hint of mustiness.

T: Like the aroma, the flavor is very light. Dry straw makes up the bulk of the flavor. Bitterness is very light and generally flavorless. There's a hint of metal toward the end. Finishes extremely clean.

M: The light body is quite dry and has about the right amount of fizz.

D: Perfectly inoffensive and easy to down. There's nothing here that makes this beer stand out from the crowd, which might be the point.

Rayek, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
2.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Funky, 8-sided pyramidal bottle, like something out of Star Trek or Star Wars, with the actual brewery and beer name (A. Le Coq) embossed near the base, and a much less interesting paper label on the neck, obviously slapped on for overseas treatment.

This beer pours a clear pale straw colour, with a half finger of blink-and-you-miss-it fizzy white head, which is just as spare in its lace rendering. It smells of sweet corn malt, and farmer's field grassiness - wet hay and weeds. The taste is mildly sweet adjunct grains, some buttery alcohol, and grassy, weedy hops. The carbonation is pretty sedate, the body light, buy not overly so, with nothing else of note. It finishes off-dry, warm, and more-or-less clean.

As neat as the bottles is, the beer runs in entirely the opposite direction. Bland, inoffensive, I suppose, and just not worth the novelty.

biboergosum, Nov 26, 2010
Viru from AS Tartu Õlletehas
65 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.