1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

299 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.3%

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: on 12-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beatenbyjacks


3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Nice amber color. Head does not last long with this one at all.

Smell - Straw, oaty, and malts for sure.

Taste - Ok this is where it shines. Lightly sweet and very crisp. Nice malt build as well. Oaty and a great example of the Vienna Lager

Mouthfeel - Crisp, simple, lightly sweet, but very refreshing and smooth.

Overall - I am NOT a Vienna Lager fan, but this beer is quite tasty. Glad I got it as an extra in a trade!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 14:57:04 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of JamieDuncan


3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My beer guru sent this one to me to try. It was a great pour, carbonated but and overly sized head, the head stuck around and clung to the glass. I normally do not care for a clear beer but liked the appearance of this one. Nothing interesting in smell. Decent tasting beer, especially from someone who is typically "meh" about Lager. Overall a pretty good beer that I enjoyed. One I would enjoy again but not seek out.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 00:54:14 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear copper color. The head's about a finger high, eggshell in shade, and with poor retention. Almost no lacing left behind. Not a very aesthetically impressive offering, truth be told.

S: Toasty, nutty, caramel-y - all the things I expect from the style, really. There's even a pleasant stone fruit note hanging around there. It doesn't amaze, but it hits all the right notes decently.

T: Much like the nose, there's a slight opening fruitiness (like apricot) that I'd consider the highlight of the beer. Toasted caramel malts are the dominant note from the middle all the way to the aftertaste. I could use a touch more bitterness to take this one to the next level, though.

M: The carbonation seems to be fairly biting, even for the style. It's a touch on the sweet and heavy side, which helps counter the powerful fizz to a certain extent.

O: Not bad. It's a respectable lager lacking in pizzazz. I wouldn't buy again, but it would make a solid go-to in a place with mostly just BMC.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 21:37:31 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Stevedore


3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz, "boxed on Dec 28 2013". Rec'd as an extra from Matt out of Virginia; thanks! Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 3/2/2014.

Review #464.

App- Clear amber body, reminds me of a nice Märzen, one finger white head with good retention, dissipates into a thin film and thickened white collar; lots of lacing.

Smell- Cornflakes, bread, a touch of caramel.

Flavour- Caramel, biscuits, honey, cornflakes. Noble hop character brings a slight floral and earthy contribution.

Mouthfeel- Thin in body but not watery at all, pleasant drinking, not terribly bitter but just enough to balance out the malt sweetness. Nice balanced floral and bready dry finish.

Overall- Nice take on the Vienna Lager style. I maintain that GLBC's Elliot Ness is a better representation, but this is certainly a very solid take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 04:00:18 | More by Stevedore
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew


3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear, medium-amber color. Head was off-white & thin, faded quickly, and left no discernible lacing.

S: Wheat bread, cut grass, and a hint of pear.

T: The initial flavors are bready and sweet malts, but those vanish quickly to be replaced with mildly tart fruit (for half a second) and then a bitter finish with a mixture of grassiness, fatty acid, and a hint of phenol; late in the finish, the bitterness fades but the grain notes poke through again.

M: Moist, but with a nice kick of prickly carbonation before a slightly dry finish.

O: A friend told me about stumbling upon the Devil's Backbone brewery/restaurant during his travels, and spoke well of it. When I saw a bottle of this beer I had to try it. I'm not the world's top lager fan, and this one didn't convert me, but it's a very drinkable (i.e. sessionable) beer, and for the price I'll be buying a few more to pair with meals.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 19:45:42 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
Photo of donscott


4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is probably one of my favorite lighter colored beer. I have introduced it to several friends and family. They all do a double take at the beer and a mental note for their shopping list. Devils Backbone for me came out of no where and have been producing a great product.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 23:20:23 | More by donscott
Photo of tone77


3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some light malts. Taste is crisp, some toasted malts, a bit of grains, a refreshing and sessionable beer. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 04:24:56 | More by tone77
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.19/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Copper body. Small off-white head. Settles very quickly to just a very thin collar.

Smell - Nutty malt. Some wheat. Slightly phenolic.

Taste - Phenolic character is much stronger. Nutty and wheaty. Sweet caramel in the back.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. A little low in carbonation.

Overall - Meh. I don't even think it's that good for a Vienna.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:03:42 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of rdilauro


3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An acquaintance brought this in for me to try. It poured like a think semi-brown light beer. Not much of a head to talk about.
No distinct aroma or bouquet.
The taste was very clean and crisp.. But beyond that, there was really nothing I could pick out from this beer.
Its one of those beers that you can drink, but really not thinking about it.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 13:51:12 | More by rdilauro
Photo of mpyle


3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful amber color, crystal clear. Pours a nice white head, tight and creamy and with good retention.

Bit of a toasty malt character, some malty sweetness, but generally quite clean in the aroma.

Malty initial flavor, with some complexity as it moves to a nicely balanced finish. Overall the flavor doesn't blow me away as I remember the draft version having done.

Medium body and moderate+ carbonation. Probably drinking slightly warm which is amplifying the carbonation intensity.

A nice German style lager made in the Mid-Atlantic. I do remember draft versions being more malty and fantastic, so it is possible that the bottled version (or at least the one I got) isn't quite as good.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 22:54:59 | More by mpyle
Photo of delta490


3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- deep clear brown with a short lived creamy white head. Some lacing.

S- some caramel notes as well as fresh bread

T- light caramel sweetness with just a slight pleasant hop bitterness on the finish

M- very smooth and a nice feel on the palette

O-a very good Vienna lager

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2013 22:39:29 | More by delta490
Photo of corby112


3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, dark golden orange color with apricot colored edges and a one finger, frothy white head.  Nice retention, only slowly settling into a thick, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Floral aroma with grassy hops, straw and earth followed by pale malt, subtle spice and light fruit notes. Spicy, peppery hops with oil-y resins and pine along with bread, biscuit, grass, straw and subtle light fruit.  Faint hints of apple and pear presence in the nose.  An aromatic spicy hop presence elevates the aroma to above average.

Clean and crisp with a spicy hop bite that lingers over the yeast, pale malt and light fruit notes into a spicy, dry finish.  Slightly peppery with crisp earthy hops.  Somewhat floral with dank pine needle and grass followed by bread,  biscuit, pilsner malt and light fruit notes.  There's some nice apple and pear sweetness comlimenting the biscuit malts and crisp hop bitterness.  Nicely balanced and easy to drink.  Nothing too out of the ordinary but surprisingly flavorful and quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2013 03:54:35 | More by corby112
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is copper to amber colored with a half inch of head. The aroma brings lager character, yeast, a touch of fruit, sweet breads, grain. A tad sweet, countered to a small degree by a touch of bitterness. Pretty light in body with moderate carbonation. A nice complement to the bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 19:03:49 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of dwren89


3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: tan-amber color with great clarity but surprisingly little head

Aroma: toasty, clean yeast flavor, slight nuttiness with a little bread aroma as well

Taste: balanced and very flavorful with great toast, bread, and nut notes that finish crisp and clean with some reenforcing bitterness for balance

Mouthfeel: crisp, smooth, and very refreshing. Lower carbonation for a lager

Overall: Great balance, great flavor but missing something by not holding its head very well. This is one of those beers that should taste better than it does simply by looking better with a thick, fizzy head. One of those weird situations where appearance shouldn't, but kinda does, affect taste. However still a great beer overall!


Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 22:53:38 | More by dwren89
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap at my hotel in Washington DC. Pint glass brought up to the room

Devils backbone Vienna. Pours light rusty amber see thru some foam. Very humble nose only malt. Taste is a sweet solid caramel malt firm carbonation and slight hop to close. Crisp finish. Nutty hints. Quite good. 4 35 4 425 4

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 20:32:01 | More by KTCamm
Photo of blackie


3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

single from the Caboose, Ashland

a: served in my mother earth cylinder, this beer is a clear caramel amber in color, sporting a pale head that falls back to a thin coating

s: the nose features a toasted lager grain sweetness, touches of honey, mild hops of a grassy nature

m: carbonation perhaps a little low for the style - somewhere on the lower end of the medium range, with a body just under medium carrying a bit of sugary weight

t: toasty vienna lager malts give a somewhat sweet, grainy bread flavor, hops fairly mild with a grassy presence, finishing with lingering grain flavor and a delicate bitterness

o: a nice, simple vienna lager, a little sweet and undercarbonated for my personal taste, but one I’ll likely go back to as it’s strong overall

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 19:38:24 | More by blackie
Photo of jjboesen


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted this at the Ebbitt Grill BrewHaHa during DC Beer Week 2013; this is a well made lager that balances malt and a sufficient amount of hops. Good balance and decent body makes for a superb sessional beer. Hope to grab one in a more relaxing setting next time.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2013 17:10:08 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a slightly hazy copper color with a small fizzy white head, short retention and reduces to nothing quickly

S- cereal grain with some caramel malt, slightly toasted with some light herbal hop notes

T- very malt forward with some bready and caramel notes, sweet honey, nutty flavors mid-palate. Light grassy notes with a clean herbal hop flavor at the end, leaving more nuttiness on the finish

M- medium bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel with a bit of stickiness on the finish

O- sessionable and full of flavor, reminiscent of SA Boston Lager. Tastes even better when served fresh from the tap

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 23:27:32 | More by Treyliff
Photo of Budinetz


4.54/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Amber hue with a 1 inch, off white head that stays for a few minutes and slowly dissipates

Smell - Clean malt smell with earthy lager tones.

Taste - Slight diacetyl up front on the tongue with a smooth caramel finish that lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation, not over, not under, just right. Very clean mouthfeel with no harshness

Overall - A very drinkable beer. At 4.9% it's got some great flavor and even better drinkability. The malts used have a lot of flavor packed in this vienna lager for sure. I only had one bottle from a trade, but I wish I'd had another to follow up!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 06:10:03 | More by Budinetz
Photo of clayrock81


3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden body with a slight amber hue with good head and carbonation that die quick with little lace on top of a light aroma, not much there, but pick up some bitter hops and touches of caramel sweetness. Light bodied, easy to drink, and hitting the spot, there's not much at all going on with this beer but it is enjoyable. Not as bitter or dry as I am accustomed to, a good balance is in here from the dry, floral hop notes to some sticky sweet caramel. As said, not too much going on here but not a water light beer either and I can't complain.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 13:04:21 | More by clayrock81
Photo of hdf561


3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the Halligan Bar and Grill Down Town Branch..

Golden but darker than a light beer, decent non offensive smell but hard to distinguish anything specific.

Taste initially smooth with some bitters toward the end. Not really an after taste but definetly something at the end of this beer. Very drinkable but not a tail gater.

Overall this was the second beer I have had from this brewery, and this beer came with alot of hype but as very good. It will be purchased again and it is worth a try.Another good transition beer for thos looking to expand beer horizons.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2013 00:21:01 | More by hdf561
Photo of merlin48


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear amber body with a small offwhite head. Minimal lacing and retention.
Aroma is toasty caramel and biscuit with vague fruit esters and some earthy hops.
Mouthfeel is creamy and light medium bodied with appropriate moderate carbonation.
Taste is loaded with caramel maltiness, accented by a pleasant nuttiness and a strong biscuity presence. Earthy hops add an even, if subdued, balancing bitterness.
Very clean and goes down well, very well. One of the better American lagers I've sampled in recent months.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 15:48:08 | More by merlin48
Photo of rangerred


2.78/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear lighter brown with a soapy half finger head that quickly disappears. No lacing or head retention whatsoever which is a little odd considering the abundant carbonation.

The aroma is on the weak side but has caramel and toasted malt coming through along with a little bit of hay and grass.

Caramel on the taste with a little bit of toast, prunes, and grass. It all just falls away so quick however leaving nothing but a light bitterness on the tongue. Extremely disappointing as I was hoping for much more flavor but Boston Lager has more taste than this. Mouthfeel is extremely watery with almost a seltzer water-like feel.

Overall, a real disappointment. I had never heard of this brewery but was hoping I might find a hidden gem. Alas it was not to be.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 23:27:07 | More by rangerred
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker a clear rich bronze with a well defined half finger white head that was pretty quick to fade.Aromas mainly of caramel doughy malt,flavors start out with caramel malt notes along with a whiskey-ish element to it,a decent smattering of spicy hops in the finish.A solid vienna lager not overly sweet with a nice amount of hops.A good beer for yard work and opening day Tiger baseball!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 20:42:49 | More by oberon
Photo of argock


4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No obvious freshness date. 6-pack purchased at Kroger (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Amber-golden and crystal clear with short, 1/2-finger of big-bubbled, off-white head with average retention and not much lace left behind.

S: Whiff of sulfur and then cereal grain with light honey and malty breadiness with a light, crisp noble hops note.

T: The flavor really takes it up a notch for the style with solid bready maltiness with a light caramel-honey sweetness filled in with a little toasty note here and there. The finish is soft at first with more bready, caramel sweetness but finishes with a firm, crisp noble hops bite. Really a remarkable example of the Vienna lager style.

M: Very light feel but with the body does creep up to almost medium most of the way through. The carbonation is firm but not overdone.

O: I can see why this beer has done so well in numerous competitions -- it layers bready, light caramelly maltiness with a solid crisp hops bite and light-medium feel. While I like SA Boston Lager, this beer crushes it -- SABL is very heavy-handed without much subtlety unlike DB Vienna Lager which layers a complex number of clean, malt characteristics with a crisp hops finish. I feel lucky to have this type of high-quality beer available in my backyard.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 03:49:37 | More by argock
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.