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Sierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Vienna Style LagerSierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

118 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 613
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 20
Gots: 72 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 06-24-2009

Vienna-style beers are among the world’s first light-colored lagers and were on the brink of extinction until American craft brewers helped revive the style; it’s a good thing they did. These delicate and extremely balanced amber beers rely on semi-sweet and bready malt flavors but walk a fine line with both malt and hop character shouldering equal weight. Our take on the style features whole-cone European hops, which add to the dry finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 118 | Hads: 613
Photo of Wiffler27
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a nice amber color with a solid white head.

this beer has a pilsner aroma but slightly more malty.

the taste is not very strong, a slight bitter finish but it doesn't impart a strong flavor.

this goes down smoothly but isn't thick, creamy, or even thin.

while this is not a bad beer, it's not a great beer. solid counterpart in the SN fall sampler pack but if anything it's just blah. an inoffensive offering (420 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really flavorful vienna lager. Now I have let it warm a bit but that hasn't impacted in a negative way. Poured with very full white and has a darker amber with less gold and more orange/red. Very clear.
Aroma is a little non-distinct with a soft grainy character and some yeast qualities.
I really like the flavor. Full yet soft grain malt with a touch of toast and sweetness. Balanced well. No particular hop character.
Nice smooth feel. A good drinker on a rainy day. (488 characters)

Photo of Czequershuus
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light copper with a large but short lived head. The on the nose I get pretzel, toast, and caramel. The flavor has a little pilsner funk, followed by a cracker, pretzel like flavor, with a slightly bitter finish. While this beer is by no means bad, or even poorly made, there is something about it that leaves me unsatisfied. Not particularly my glass of beer. (377 characters)

Photo of maedhros09
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Lovely amber with a couple fingers of off-white head that settles to a film
Smell: bready malts, herbal hops
Taste: Semi-sweet almost caramelly breadiness with a fairly substantial grassy/paper-like bitter hops finish. Fairly dry and clean. There is subtlety and complexity here.
Feel: Light to medium body, normal carbonation

Overall: I honestly had a hard time making my mind up about this one. I think I expected it to be a little sweeter, but the dryness seems to work OK. I feel like as with many SN beers the balance is tipped a bit more towards the hops than I would expect for this kind of style. In any case, while I prefer their other lagers (Nooner, Summerfest) this Vienna Lager is still a pretty enjoyable and nicely crafted brew. (754 characters)

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep rich amber with gold highlight. Thin head.

Aroma is biscuit, malt, and lager yeast.

Feel is smooth with a malt richness not too much of a hop profile.

Great late summer drinker. (233 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety pack 12er with a great selection of the classic pale ale, tumbler, red IPA and this. Beer that comes from Aaron rOdgers hometown must be good right? let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a dry bready smell with a hint of graham cracker. Pours to a solid yellow orange with a two finger multi sized bubble head that clings as it recedes. On the taste this brew is wheat germ with a skinny bitterness that sneaks up and builds from the tongue up the sides of the mouth until it takes over the wheat germ and leaves a dry bitter finish. Quite interesting. (580 characters)

Photo of CraigP83
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell is bready and sweet. Goes down super smooth with just a faint spiciness. This was in the SN fall sampler and I can see why, it's delicious and could be an everyday beer when the temps start to drop a bit. Just a touch of caramel stickiness at the end. (257 characters)

Photo of CASK1
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass.
L - Beautiful amber color with brilliant lager clarity. Fluffy off-white head fell fairly quickly.
S - Moderate levels of bread crust and toast. Hints of melanoidin sweetness. No hint of hops in the aroma.
T - Similar to aroma, but more intense. Nice biscuity, toasty malt with melanoidin complexity. Moderate hop bitterness offsets the malt and makes this beer very drinkable. Hint of spicy hop flavor adds to the complexity.
F - Medium bodied, but crisp and dry makes this easy to drink several of. Carbonation level is spot on.
O - More breweries need to make this style. Tasty and easy drinking. Can't wait until it's actually fall to enjoy more of this one. (700 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - a deep red/copper, quite translucent with a one finger off white head that falls by the wayside quickly and little to no legs/lacing

S - Very sugary sweet up front, huge malt nose, floral hop note, lager yeast, tiny booze note, sweet malts, crisp water and fresh grains

T - very sweet up front, sweet floral hops, yeast has a Hawaiian sweet bread note, sweet malts, crisp dry grains and a perfect balance between ale and lager.

M - Medium minus body, medium minus acidity, medium minus carbonation, well balanced, nice complexity and a very sweet from beginning to end finish.

D/O - Easy to drink, tastes great, hugely refreshing, smells lovely and can be enjoyed where ever and when ever. Perfect for summer and fall and may fit well in late spring. Very simple but miles away from boring which can be a tough thing to accomplish.

Final thoughts - Great Ale/Lager. Nice price around $8-9 a sixer and a 5.3% ABV that will keep you drinking this Vienna Style lager all day and night! (1,053 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, golden, amber color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of bready, toasted malt, imparting aromas of freshly baked French baguettes or English muffins. There are also aromas of caramel, black pepper, and a touch of floral, piney, citrusy, hops. Really, really, delicious!

Taste: Wow! Delicious! Strong flavors of bready, toasted malt, up front, followed by caramel-like sweetness, black pepper, and a touch of floral, piney, citrusy, hops. Really, really, delicious! Exceptional, actually!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, crisp and very effervescent as there is a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What an exceptional American-version of a Vienna lager! One of the best I’ve had in fact. It’s definitely up there with Devil’s Backbone’s Vienna Lager, which is my favorite American-made Vienna Lager. It’s Malty, slightly sweet and beautifully balanced with floral, piney, hops. Sierra Nevada’s knocked this one out of the park! (1,238 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into a mug. Beer is red orange with a small white head. Smells of sweet grain, little fruit. Tastes of sweet caramelized grain, very slight berry. Beer is light bodied and very easy drinking. Overall an above average beer. (235 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada Vienna Vienna-style Lager, SNBC, Chico, CA. Alc. 5.2% by Vol. Final beer from the fall seasonal sampler pack. I kind of wish, though, they hadn't included SNPA, and tossed in something else, like their Stout. Hasn't everyone had SNPA by now?

clear, bright amber coloring, fierce carbonation, brief white head.

aroma: sweet, grainy malts, mild hop bitterness. slight fruitiness.

taste: crisp, clean, lean and sweet. Just like you'd expect from any Vienna. Noble hops appear on the palate to contribute to balance and do a little waltz on the tongue. Nice and crisp tingle keeps the sweetness to a manageable minimum. Lean-bodied and extra-drinkable. No doubt about, it's another classic rendition.

Let's gander at that label copy: "This amber lager is one of the world's most balanced beer styles. Nuanced flavors drift from semi-sweet, bready malt notes to a floral and spicy kick from whole cone European hops." And more: "Vienna style lairs were on the brink of extinction until American craft brewers helped revive the style. It's a good thing they did. These delicate beers lean on light and bready malt flavors, but walk a fine, balanced line with whole-cone European hops contributing a dry finish." (1,224 characters)

Photo of bgillespie
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light clear orangey brown with a nice head.

Smell: Sweet bready malt.

Taste: Similar to the smell, a sweet bread malt. Slight hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, perfectly carbonated.

Overall: One of the few Vienna beers that I have had. The sweet bready taste is nice and different than a normal beer. It grows on you as you drink it. (380 characters)

Photo of atr2605
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-pours an orange/copper color with an off white head with nice retention
S-very bready/biscuity with some sweetness following, low/no hop aroma
T-more biscuit, toasted malt, finishes slighty sweet and dry with nice hop bitterness balancing it all out and is almost a bit herbal
M-medium bodied and smooth, fair amount of carbonation
O-very delicious beer. wish I had tried it sooner (383 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the Fall pack to my SN Balloon glass
Notes taken on 10/08/14

A: Soft amber body that takes on more of a hazel brown color with some light hazing throughout. Another thick and rocky billow of khaki stuff forms on top. Fairly signature of Sierra Nevada I would say. Good amount of hang time before settling down to a few chunks that adhere to the glass as the drink progresses.

S: The smell is big in the toasty bread and biscuit department. Earthy with a rich wholesome nuttiness. Its a dense and crusty bread likeness with a trailer of some flowers and spice hops. Very warm and inviting to me.

T: Liquid bread. Malty and delicious. The fresh baked whole grain stuff with that earthy toast nuttiness and some light floral kitchen spices coming through. Frothy and smooth with a great balance. I get a touch of stone fruit ester action and light bitters drying out the finish. No alcohol or harsh elements. Purely the tasty stuff.

M: Frothy and smooth with a lightly moderate filling body on account of all the malt heartiness. Bit of drying lift in the finish. Crisp and clean through and through.

D: Superb drinkability in that this has a ton of malt flavor with a great body to balance. Seems fairly traditional to the style and rather well done to me. Not sure what the purists think but I enjoyed this quite a bit and would take it over a Sam Adams any day of the week. (1,422 characters)

Photo of fank2788
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Nice and clear orange copper in color with a bit of a frothy head that provides a bit of lace. The aroma is a bit thin but does seem right for the style. I get biscuity grain with a good bit of sweet caramel there is also a dose of grassy flowery hops as well. The caramel and malt are the focus in the taste however a good deal of bitterness is in there as well without much in the way of specific hop flavor that is. The finish is pretty neutral as the sweet character of the beer is only just surpassed by the bitterness to leave just a slight hop tingle on the tongue. Overall this is good but maybe not as good as some others in the style. (683 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright shiny crystal clear copper body, topped by a fist plus of billowing oatmeal-white foam. Drips of lace coat the glass.

Inviting fresh bread aroma.

Sweet but not too sweet caramel foundation. Floral Euro hops. Extremely well balanced.

Light smooth mouthfeel with a little lean toward medium.

An excellent take on a classic style. (339 characters)

Photo of HoppyBastard
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, packaged date 7-22-14.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear copper color with one-finger off-white head that dissipated quickly leavibg a ring of small bubbles around the glass, minimal lacing, medium carbonation.

SMELL: flowery, sweet caramel, bread and some spice.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet caramel then a mild, spicy, hop profile also the taste of bread.

PALATE: medium carbonation, somewhat creamy.

OVERALL: this is my favorite from the SN Fall Pack, I'm not a huge lager guy but I would definitely buy this again, SN can do no wrong, even beer styles I do not normally like are good when they make it (see Black IPA), SN brew masters are like rock stars of the craft beer world. (763 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.52/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a nonic pint at approximately 45 degrees F.

A: Poured the color of clean synthetic motor oil, and when pooled into the glass, took on the color of the good, home-raised honey a friend of mine gets from his hives in northern Kentucky. Minimal head formed, and died quickly into a patchy cap and thick ring. Bubbles stream from the bottom of the glass like they're white girls heading for a Starbucks that just announced Pumpkin Spice Lattes at 50% off.

S: Lightly cinnamon-sugared toast with some caramel-covered toffees on the plate.

T: The flavors open with a lightly roasted caramel toffee toast, as promised by the aroma. This is quickly subsumed by a piney-earthy hop flood with hints of citrus underlying it, which plows into the forefront with all the grace and subtlety of a tanker truck loaded with nitroglycerine slamming into three school buses full of screaming children and a gunpowder factory. That hop barrage takes over completely through the middle, and lingers long after the finish, which is a severe disappointment to this malthead.

M: Very light, but saved from feeling watery by the lively carbonation.

O: I wanted to like this beer. I really did. I love Vienna lagers, to the point that the GLBC Eliot Ness is one of my favorite beers of all time. But when you take a Vienna lager and do your utmost to transform it into an Americanized hop monster version, you lose me completely. (1,434 characters)

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.25/5  rDev -16%

A- Looks exactly the style. Had a great big 2 and a half finger head that died to a nice rim. Light amounts of lacing. Body of the beer is a bright copper color. Pretty clear.

S- Toasted caramel malts. Toffee and caramel sweetness. Honey. Light fruitiness. Biscuity. Hop spice for sure. Light black pepper. I mean light on the peppery note.

T- Sweet, but not cloying. Toffee, caramel, and honey are the main flavors on the tongue. There is somewhat of a grainy quality here. Biscuty notes and a slight hop spice. The bitterness is higher on this one than in the Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's piney and earthy hop bitterness. I'd have to guess the bitterness is in the mid 30 IBU range. Biscuits and light black pepper is noticeable. The fruitiness is there, but the fruits are not identifiable. I notice light rosted coffee at the end as well. It's much spicer and hoppier than the Boston Lager.

M- Medium feel to it. It's crisp, clean, and it does refresh. Dries farily quickly. It is grainy with sweet toffee at first, then changes to a coffee type note before it dies.

Overall it's a fine beer. I wouldn't rush to the store to buy a 6 or 12 pack if that was available for this beer. But it's just slightly above average. The hop profile throws me off a little in something this malty. But that's just me. I'd say get the Fall seasonal pack of Sierra Nevada beers if you still see it in your area and give it a try for yourself. (1,433 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: October 12, 2014... GLASSWARE: Weihenstaphaner pokal... OCCASION: Happy sixth birthday, Michael... APPEARANCE: handsome dark amber body; reasonably effervescent; thick, rich three-finger off-white head that settles into articulate Cyrillic arcs and arches ... AROMA: slightly smoky; superior caramel malts; some pepper and peppercorn; some oats and dough late--a burnt toffee ending... PALATE: medium-bodied, slightly creamy; slightly crunchy, with clean finish....TASTE:sweet, tempered toffee malts meld with spirited hops--bright and slightly floral--to develop a symbiotic sip... OVERALL: a crisp, malty/hoppy lager that delivers a sweet toffee reward; a good appreciation of the genre.... (706 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a bright, clear, copper body with a white head. Smells of fresh whole grain bread, grain, and grape nuts. Tastes of whole wheat bread with honey, caramel, toasty grains. Mouthfeel is moderate with a light stickiness and a prickly carbonation. Really good example of a Vienna lager. (297 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%

Appearance (4) : Three fingered head, creamy appearance, leaves little swabs of lacing on the glass. Body is a light copper/amber appearance. Opacity is about 40%.

Aroma (4) : Barley malts, grain, herb, oats, caramel, and some very faint oily hop. Very fresh and aromatic. Bouquet is medium strength.

Taste (3.75) : It's got a good malt and hop balance. At the end the malt wins out which is my preference anyways. It's got some slight bitter bite at the front, with a caramel malty body, with barley heads, corn, cereal, and wheat. Right at about 80% to the finish the hop bite comes in and packs a quick jawbreaker, but then the malt floats up again and finishes out the taste profile.

Mouthfeel (3.5) : Incredibly carbonated, buzzes on the tongue. I think if it weren't for the carbonation, it wouldn't be as enjoyable as the malt is pretty strong and so is the hop. The finish is a little dry, and just slightly pasty.

Overall (3.79) : This Vienna is a pretty decent beer. I'm not gonna say it's the best beer I've ever had, or even the best Vienna (that goes to Sam Adams' Boston Lager), but it is a good beer. On tap I'm sure this beer would kill. It's a good combination of malt and hop and though I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a six pack, I would have it again in a single. (1,293 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A- Poured a clear orange color with visible carbonation and off-white frothy head that left some splashy lace.

S- Big toasted malt, bready notes, sweet fruity notes, and floral hops . Very strong aroma for the style and well-balanced between the malty and hoppy notes.

T- Big bready notes, toasted malt, sweet fruity notes, and a kiss of floral hops.

M- Very smooth, medium body, soft carbonation, and dry.

O- This is one of the best vienna lagers I have ever had. Very well balanced, great aroma, and a very smooth mouthfeel. (583 characters)

Photo of BubbleChamber
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

From bottles dated 07/08/14, part of 'Fall Pack Seasonal Sampler' 12-pack: A pleasantly sweet malty lager with notes of lightly toasted grain and dark honey. The sweetness is balanced by a crispness and rather mild bitterness from the hops. If I recall correctly, the hop presence is lighter here than in Great Lakes' Eliot Ness Vienna Lager, which is one of my favourite brews. A floweriness comes to the fore in the finish. Carbonation seems nearly perfect, if erring on the low side. A superb accompaniment to salted pretzels, with potent mustard and cheese. —Reviewed 26 October 2014 (595 characters)

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Sierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.