Sierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Vienna Style LagerSierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager

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very good

585 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 585
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 15
Gots: 61 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 585 | Reviews: 112
Reviews by SteveB24:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I pour one and a half bottles into a becker with a nice rich copper color and tightly formed bone white half finger resulting,a very good pour.Some leafy hops and German malts in the nose,it has a light iron/metallic note to it wich is spot on.Dry and bready on the palate with a good smack of herbal/leafy hops in the finish.This is a great Vienna lager,one of the better true to form ones out there.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a lovely, bright gold , crystal clear with plenty of bubbles and a creamy, white head that compacts nicely and leaves lacing all down the glass.
The aroma is bread and toffee and spice and everything nice.
The taste is spice up front for me with caramel, bread and biscuit up next followed by a pleasant dry, bittering and peppery finish.
The mouth is medium bubbly.
Overall, a very tasty Vienna lager. Looking forward to my next one.

Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. The label has a short description of the beer and it lists the abv at 5.3% abv.

Appearance: The body has a nice orange amber color with great clarity and some visible carbonation. This is topped off with an average one finger tall head which is off white in color and settles down to a thin layer of foam. Lacing is slick and mostly just slide right down the sides of the glass as I drink.

Smell: It has a light overall presence. What is noticeable is mostly sweet and malty. It has nice toffee and nougat like notes with just a touch of floral hop spice.

Taste / Palate: The flavor is well balanced leaning just towards the malty sweet side. Like the aroma it has a very nice malty sweetness with light toffee and nougat like sweetness that is delicately balanced by Noble hop spice. It has a medium body and a smooth easy drinking feel. The drinkability of this beer is crazy good.

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Dimpled Mug.

Appearance: Clear amber orange with moderate off-white that mostly settles back.

Smell: Cherry, caramel, biscuit and toast.

Taste: Sweetish cherry and caramel mostly, with some bread characteristics. The hop balance is minimal with light spiciness and a hint of citrus.

Feel: Medium to light body with moderate carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

Overall: This is an exceedingly drinkable Vienna Lager but a little too sweet to be among my favorites for the style.

Photo of far333
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Golden colored with reddish hues, low head sizzles away quickly. Aroma of sweetish malt and corn, some buttery notes. Corny malty flavor, finishes sweet. Slick mouthfeel.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the source in beautiful Chico, CA, circa summer 2011. Crystal clarity, nice mild orange sunset like appearance, perfect 1" of head on it, above standard retention and lacing. Mild fall like aroma of toffee and miniscule grassy hop aroma.

Mild heft and sweetness to the malt, it does taste like the empending doom of fall. Lots of carbonation, gives the hops and citrus a little more gusto, but doesn't take the beer too far astray from style guidelines. Everything is "light" but far from flavorless with the beer. A nice twinge of caramel, toffee, noble hops, and the smell of leaves falling.

In terms of the malt forward Octoberfest styles, this one is better than average. Right amount of sweetness and smoothness, but far from being insubstantial in any regard.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Appears a clear amber hue in the tankard style glass fits about two bottles of this great looking Vienna style lager. Bright collar of slightly off white head builds a exuberant billowing head, and leaves even thick spaced lacing with each sip.

Aroma has a beautiful toasted caramel edge, with a slight earthy nuttiness to it…malt all day a bit of honey coated toasted bread notes. Euro hops enough to give it those herbal/earthy notes, barely noticeable but crafted so well.

Flavor has really great malt layers, sweet but not cloyingly so. Toasted bread, drizzled with honey slight buttery notes…the hops come out best with each hop burp. There’s a level of finesse here that’s highly sought after clean lagering, whole flower Euro hops give it herbal/earthy bitterness to edge out some balance.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied meant to be drank by the liter, great beer excellent sturdy level of carbonation really carries the beer so well across the palate. Complex for such a simply executed lager, really layered malts and balancing hops tastes great.

Overall, I wish they made something like this year round…a nice complement to the excellent Elliot Ness Vienna Style Lager from Great Lakes Brewing.

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

Clear, amber, nice head. Aroma is roasted malt, some grassy-like hops. Taste is much like the smell, some sweetness from the roasty malt, and a very nice hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very crisp, almost full-bodied, not like a normal lager. Overall, I really liked this beer a lot. It is a very refeshing and well-crafted beer - but that's what you've come to expect from Sierra Nevada, and they deliver nicely.

Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured a lovely clear amber body with a thin cap of foamy white head. It looked like a classic Vienna lager, quite nice. Scents of lager yeast, soft, bready malt, rich German malt, and a low Noble hop aroma. A caramel aroma is also present, though it should not be in this style. Overall impression of aroma is of a wonderfully crisp lager that is quite malt forward, though not quite so much as an Oktoberfest. It suffers only from the caramel aroma which is not unpleasant but is untraditional. Flavor begins nicely sweet, with bready malt, biscuit, and a light level of floral Noble hops and a low level of hop bitterness. In the middle low levels of Noble hop flavor and bitterness continue, along with bready, biscuit and slight toasted flavors. Finish is semi-dry with notes of Noble hops with medium-low hop bitterness and hint of toasted malt. Aftertaste is grainy malt and a slight lingering bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a nice Vienna lager that balances malt and hops quite well. It is malty upfront, but gains a nice Noble hop character in the middle and finish to form a balanced whole. Mouthfeel light bodied, with medium-high carbonation, a smooth and creamy feel and a light crispness on the finish. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a wonderfully true to style Vienna lager. Overall this is a very nice Vienna lager. It has an excellent aroma, if not brought down just a hair by the caramel and a fantastic flavor and mouthfeel. It is wonderfully drinkable and quite pleasant to drink. Recommended.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Seidel.

My aggressive pour produces a huge head requiring several waits to top it off, despite the use of the half liter glass. The head is a foamy pale white and dissipates fairly slowly leaving splotches of lace and a scattered layer over the body. The body is brown with bright blonde hues and above medium clarity. Trickles of carbonation are visible.

I'm not sure this is the best word choice, but this beer smells clean. There's light caramel and bread, and slight floral hop aroma, all which are mellow and understated.

Bread and caramel carry on to my taste buds, but this type the hops are a bit more pronounced.

The beer has a lighter medium body, a smooth quality, and a fairly aggressive bitter finish. It's a good contrast to the sweeter malt up front.

I'd say this beer's best quality is that it's very easy-drinking and lends it self to drinking many at a time. There's nothing that really shines in this beer, it's more of a low-key, subtle offering.

Photo of mudbug
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

From the 12 oz. bottle into a tall pilsner glass results in a startlingly bright deep amber body capped by a lingering foamy head of about an inch. small bubbles rise to the top.
Aroma is freshly crushed cracker and earthy must with a clean astringent tang, very appealing.
Taste is toasted bread crust, hop spice and faint mushroom, finishes semi-dry very nuanced and balanced but far more flavor than what i was expecting
Oh Ya! This is what defines refreshing and drinkable to me.
Bravo Sierra Nevada, This one is a winner

Photo of dacrza1
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
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....

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and is a golden orange color with an off-white finger width head. Fair retention leads to a broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge. Small spots of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell - Bready notes off-set by a floral hop character.

Taste - Wow, what a perfectly balanced brew! Bready malts at the forefront with faint caramel sweetness, followed by a floral and slightly spicy hop kick. Faint hints of butter and honey. Finish is semi-sweet with traces of citrus. Superb all-around.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with tingly carbonation. Smooth, silky texture. Goes down easy and is rather quite chuggable if one so chooses.

Overall - I'm loving this one. Easily the best Vienna Lager I've had to date. Such remarkable balance in flavor. Comes in the Fall Variety pack and, along with the Tumbler, is a strong reason to buy it again.

Photo of secondtooth
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper with pleasing head of off-white foam. Thin and wispy lace.

Nose is caramel malts, toasty grains, and definitely a touch of citrus hops. Not bad.

Taste is toasty and malty up front, with a nice citrus hop zing at the finish. Light, balanced, and very well done. Enjoyable.

Photo of Roguer
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright amber lager with orange highlights; snow white head, decent retention, fading to a thin line. Transparent brew.

Strong caramel notes from the aroma; prunes; fruitbread; and nuts.

Flavor follows the nose: very bready, fruity, and nutty. Very balanced bitterness, but still just a hint oversweet.

Very lively brew, slight sting, a little oily. Long wet finish.

This is a pretty solid, tasty brew. Very drinkable. Not my favorite style, but it would be an enjoyable accompaniment on tap with a meal.

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of cream colored head ( huge bubbles in the head ). Pretty good lacing & head retention (4.25)

S: Faint grainyness, ;pears (3.5)

T: Breadyness, faint citrus & grassy hops, mineral dryness, plus pears& apricot up front. Grainy sweetness, faint caramel notes, grassyness & dryness as this warms. Finishes dry, crisp, fruitty & with a little grainy sweetness (4.0)

MF: Light/medium bodied with delicate carbonation at first, then seems over-gassed (3.75)

Drinks pretty easy, needs a few tweeks, but pretty good for the style (3.75)

Photo of Gmann
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a clear copper color with a smallish white head that settles into a light ring. Not much lacing. 3.25

The aroma is of a light bready malt with caramel notes. A bit of a spice from the hops. 3.25

The taste is of a slightly toasted malt. Some bready notes. Its not overly flavorful but the malt is pretty damn smooth. The hops are peppery and plays well with the malt. A bit of a tin presence in the finish. 3.75

The body is light to moderate with airy carbonation. Very nice balance. Drinks crisp and is fairly clean. Its very refreshing. 4

An enjoyable vienna lager. Not overly malty or hoppy. I could drink a few of these. 3.7

Photo of KTCamm
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

8/24...pours light amber, see through, fluffy white foam. Mild caramel toasty nose. Light taste, malty nuance, slight bitter connects the dots. Bready for sure, chewy. Real good.

Photo of Treyliff
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 7/17/14, poured into a pint

A- pours a bright & clear amber color with a small creamy white head that reduces to a film on top, leaving some short lasting lace

S- spicy floral hop aroma with some bready malt notes, also picking up traces of grass, caramel and toasted bread crust

T- caramel & bready malt forward up front with some toasted notes, floral & herbal hop bitterness kicks in mid-palate, eventually leading to a sweet malty finish, but with a hint of spicy hop kick

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth crisp finish, highly drinkable

O- superior balance makes this one super drinkable and a welcomed addition to the fall lineup

Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Much darker in hue than your average lager this displays a proud foamy cap. The nose is a touch bitter and piney but it leads with a biscuity, bready and tea leaf maltiness. The flavor is malty at the front end with a finish of sweet caramel malt. The front presents a grain, biscuit and bready malt with an almost amber like toast. It finishes rather dry and bready.

Photo of goochpunch
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of fank2788
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours a clear dusky, orange color with a quickly fading, effervescent head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of toasted malt and a bit of floral hops.

Tastes of the nice toasted malt with some earthy, floral hops underneath. Malts lead off with notes of caramel, toffee, and a bit of grain. Fairly sweet. Hops come next and add a bit of earthy spiciness and floral notes but not much bitterness. Leans towards the sweet side. Finishes fairly clean with a bit of lingering bready malts.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly crisp amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice Vienna lager, but it doesn't really stand out.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


12oz bottle... Pours a polished light orange... nice enough white head... decent lacing.

Nose shows pretty much perfect light toasted malt and no real hops to speak of..

Flavor mirrors the palate with a bit of grassy hoppiness on the finish.. Light/medium body with good bubble makes for a very drinkable brew... Soft and still very drinkable... Perhaps too much carbonation.

I dig this one.


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Sierra Nevada Vienna Style Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 585 ratings.