Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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Vienna LagerVienna Lager

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BA SCORE
84
good

88 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 88
Hads: 610
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 22
Gots: 169 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: on 12-24-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 610
Photo of hopphead31415
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I first tried this on tap, but lately have been seeing them in six packs so I picked some up and chilled it down real good and then poured into a glass. At the time of reviewing this, I only had available a tall English Ale glass, but it’ll get the job done. This lager has a deflated 4.9% ABV and has no bitterness.

Look-It pours a dark amber/mahogany that is very clear and the carbonation trails can be seen. The head comes in medium about a finger or two settling down to a film after a while. The lacing is foamy and slightly moist.

Smell-It is a malt-forward smell with biscuit-like, toasted cracker smells and a sweetness to it that is honey-based and a mild spiciness to it that is like clover and coriander.

Taste-It has a refreshing taste with complex malts that follow the nose, but then there are hints of clementine citrus, honey, black-pepper notes, and a caramel based malt.

Mouthfeel-It is definitely medium-bodied and sufficiently fizzy from the decent amount of carbonation. There is not much of a bite from the low 4.9% alcohol, but the carbonation takes care of most of that.

Overall-This is a session lager to say the least, but is quite refreshing. I would have liked to see a bit more character and dynamic flavor components coming through the hops, but it was still a good beer. (1,312 characters)

Photo of vainosuomi
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap in a pilsner glass. Golden amber color. Fairly malty smell, with a little bit of spiciness. Sweet malt flavor with faint hops. Clean finish and carbonation. (167 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- 12oz bottle poured to a couple bechers with a deep copper amber body and a fizzy white head. Decent retention falling to almost nothing with rare lacing.

S- Toasty Vienna malts bring caramelized sugar, light nutty, toast and biscuit aromas while the yeast is mostly clean save hints of pale fruit esters and spice.

T- Toasty and flavorful grains as in the aroma with a very clean and crisp taste. Slight medium caramelized sugars, toast, biscuit, cereal grains, pale candi sugar and just a hint of fruit and spice. Slight spicy hops and bready hints.

MF- Puffy light-medium body with a high end carbonation level. Texture is crisp and smooth with very low bitterness.

Clean and toasty with those Vienna malts doing most of the work. Appears deeper in color but still drinks very easily and smoothly thanks to those grains. (829 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.77/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, dark, amber/mahogany color with a half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with tons of biscuit-like, bready, toasted malt, black pepper, caramel and honey, heather, and a touch of floral, grassy, citrusy, hops. Smells inviting and delicious!

Taste: Delicious! Tons of bready, biscuit-like, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of black pepper, honey and caramel-like sweetness, a hint of citrus and a hint, a whisper, really, of hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent, as there’s quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is one of my favorite session beers, period. Malty, slightly sweet, bready, crisp, satisfying, very, very drinkable and spectacular! If you like Vienna Lagers, you’ll love this one! Highly, highly recommended! (1,065 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not enough breweries will take on the non sexy beers like a Vienna lager so kudos to Devils Backbone. This is a nicely dark malted lager with a touch of caramel, barley and pecan. Little bit of toasted grain and nut. This is a lager with a nice bit of personality. (264 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a sixer last Saturday from the Food Lion in Williamsburg, VA for $9.99. This is supposed to be Da Boss' go to beer for the week but she had two as she is little and petite and not into drinking beyond the one or two pint with a meal.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is malt city and not much beyond that.

Taste is solid, nice malt backbone with enough hopping to make my chips and salsa that I am pairing this with come alive.

Mouthfeel is thicker than what I expect from this style. Would expect something lighter and crisper especially from the hop bill previously detected.

Overall a tasty brew...glad Da Boss left some behind for me! (692 characters)

Photo of smanders
3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend gave me a Vienna Lager a couple weeks ago. I remember it positively, so I bought a 6'er from TW for $8.99. Poured into a lager glass for review.

Appearance: dark copper coloring with minimal head. No lacing.

Smell: a hint of sweet malt, but not much else.

Taste: honey sweet wheat bread.

Mouthfeel: a tad sticky. Not bad.

Drinkability: a good representative of the style made better by the fact that it's local. (427 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Decent session beer. Pours a nice clear dark copper color into a pint glass. Small antique white head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, nothing complex but strong enough. Nice flavor for a session beer. Slightly sweet biscuity malk
t and a little grassy hops for balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is not watery, just light and crisp. Enough bitterness to balance the malt. Would be good in pitchers or as a summertime cooler. (455 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Amber sludgy brown, with no head.

Flat, smells a bit like a homebrew - some malts, little else.

Malty like a big loaf of brown bread, restful on the tongue, mildly hoppy.

Nice in the mouth, sticky and even verging on chewy.

Decent, nothing bad about it, but nothing exceptional either. (293 characters)

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this served to me on tap at harpoon Larry's. Dark amber with no head to speak up, minimal lacing. Smell is faint wheat and malts. The taste was slightly floral, with some hoppiness on the tongue, but it didn't hit me with the same bang that Eliot Ness did a while back. The mouthfeel is pretty solid, with medium body and a decent bite on the back of the tongue. Overall, this is a slightly above average Vienna. (423 characters)

Photo of Chessmaster
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into lager glass

A: Clear, attractive, orange-red appearance, crystal clear. White head disappeared almost instantly leaving no head at all on top - bad. Constant stream of bubbles rising through liquid

S: Caramel, maybe a little fruity, some bready notes. Pleasant

T: Clean, crisp, a little biscuity/bready, malty/caramel

M: Medium bodied

O: The smell and taste are pleasant and this beer is quite drinkable. A little lacking in the appearance but otherwise good. (488 characters)

Photo of Pantalones
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've had this one before in bottles, but had it on tap for the first time at a local restaurant when visiting back home for the weekend.

Served in a pint glass, with the head already mostly gone by the time it reached the table (just a little bit sitting on top, which faded away entirely not too much later.) Same nice caramely brown color that I remembered from the six-pack I picked up a while back, clear. Smell was mostly "beery" but just slightly sweet, though considering that food was around I may not have been able to pick up on everything.

Tastes nice. Bready, a little caramel-y, sweet but not TOO sweet, and with a hint of another flavor in there now and then (I'm assuming this is coming from the hops used.) My sister commented that it reminded her of sourdough bread, and actually I can kinda see that comparison now that I think about it. Seemed a bit different on tap than in bottled form (I suspect that maybe the bottles were fresher, considering that I bought them within 10-15 miles of the brewery and had them within a month of the bottling date!), but the caramel-like flavors I remembered were definitely there. Went together nicely with the fish & chips I ate, no odd changes in the flavor at all whether I drank after a bite of fish, a mozzarella stick, some fries, or some salad. The sweetness was a bit less pronounced as the meal went on, but the beer was still good the whole time. Smooth and very drinkable, I could've easily had a second one afterward if not for the fact that I didn't want to run up the bill too much since someone else was paying, heh.

Overall, this is good stuff whether on its own or with a meal, and seems to pair better with food compared to the other Vienna-style lagers I've tried so far--I'm not sure what makes the difference there (maybe the particular variety of hops used in each one, or maybe my taste buds just like these kinds of beers more with fish & chips rather than with spicy chicken tacos?), but it was definitely appreciated at lunch today.

====

Had a couple pints on tap 5/13/15 -- still very tasty (obviously or I wouldn't have gotten two!) This time I would describe the flavor as toasty with a bit of an almost-caramel-like sweetness, but leaning more in the "toasty and a little sweet" direction rather than seeming really caramel-like. Also got just a hint of something that seemed almost minty on the end occasionally, which I'm guessing is hops-related. I think I was picking up on a bit of this flavor when I had the bottled version months and months ago, too, now that I think about it. (2,586 characters)

Photo of wac9
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

wife always picks a good beer on her away from fl and she know nothing about beer , just a copper color beer thats a crisp taste but also some hits of hops taste ans carmel smmoth so drink another (196 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of raisins.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of toasted mats along with notes of sweetness and some hints of caramel and grassy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down easily and is pleasantly smooth. I wouldn't mind having another one of these.

Serving type: bottle (680 characters)

Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Can't believe I hadn't ever reviewed this! Great color and light beige head. Smells lightly of caramel and crisp yet not overpowering hops. Sweet caramel pops just before a bitter taming from the hops comes around. Smooth and slightly light mouthfeel. Finish is clean, no cloying sweetness in aftertaste. Great all around drinker for almost any situation and fantastic gateway beer for your macro friends. (406 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Hot damn, I can see why this has garnered a couple GABF medals. It holds a rich, deep malt character over a crisp dry body. It's deeply delicious and satisfying, and also oh so drinkable. The barley brings a sweet caramel note, with toasty bread crust, smooth husk, and a hint of fruit juice in the finish. Great beer, go find it. (330 characters)

Photo of dmberger
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Thought that this was an ok beer. Nothing too much exciting about it--malt sweetness is about it, with muted flavors otherwise. However, it doesn't offend either, which is better than many beers. Very drinkable, with a low ABV, and if I ran into again, I would consider it. There is a place in the world for good, yet boring, beer. (335 characters)

Photo of BradMacMullin
3/5  rDev -20%

I am on a work trip in VA, so I am devoted to drinking as many hard to find breweries as I can. Went to the Tap Room in Reston, and Shawn the bartender recommended this - he was reaching as the Loose Cannon was all gone. Anyways, had this since it was a low ABV. Need to be responsible. Especially since the next 3 beers may not be as kind. Anyways this beer was a little wispy. No head, golden amber color. Not a hop to be found. Crispy and wet. I will give it that. If there was a fire, I would immediately think to get this beer. My dislike has more to do with the vienna Lager style I think. This was just ok in my mind (634 characters)

Photo of kellyej
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

A: Amber/golden color, wispy/weak head, clear
S: Oat dust, biscuit, honey, grass
M: Smooth, little coating
T: Clean, balanced beer with notes of grass, honey, wheat bread crust, and toasty-ness (196 characters)

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

I wasn't terribly impressed with this beer. It pours a dark amber with a 1 " foamy head that dissipates VERY quickly to nothing. No real lacing left along the glass as you finish. Smell is malty, with a touch of sweetness, but nothing really stands out apart from the malt. There are slight hints of caramel, but overall the taste is VERY thin. Just not much to it. By the end of one, I was ready to try something else. (425 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the better examples of the style I have had in a while. Pours deep copper with nice carbonation and decent head. Nice and malty I would get a six pack of this if I saw it again. (185 characters)

Photo of r44z
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

A very nice representation of the Vienna lager style from an up-and-coming Virginia brewery. Slightly amber in color, with a pleasant, mild malty aroma. Medium-bodied, not overly carbonated, and relatively smooth on the palate. Flavor is not extremely complex, but pleasantly sweet, with a slight hint of toffee, bread, and dried fruits.

Not a lot of hops detected, but finishes with just enough bitterness to balance out the predominantly sweet, malty flavors. Overall, a very drinkable beer that most will likely find to be non-objectionable, but not a revelation. (574 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

While many American brewers are happy to dip their toe into the traditional European styles, few actually claim the authentic taste, technique and recipe that garners such praise. But those laborious efforts of Devil's Backbone deserves it!

Their Vienna lager pours with a bright golden color with copper and garnet ribbons. One whiff and a juicy malt aroma exudes. Malty and toasted scents weave into a taste that's right smack-dab in the middle of creamy malt and sweet.

As the flavors open up, the middle palate shares the toastiness of fresh baking bread and toasty croissant. Malt sweetness is playfully volumnous but shies away from caramel; instead prefers the creamy cashew and elegant drinkabiity with herbal noble hop flavors of honeysuckle and tea-like earthiness to ground the taste.

Its delicate and malty-dry finish is medium-light and never challenges the palate. Its high drinkability and soothing texture develops into an herbal bitterness to finish that's only intense enough to offset the trailing malts, revealing a near minty flavor and feel in its wake. (1,078 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was recently on a vacation with my wife and her family visiting some of her extended family in Virginia and there was a Wegman's located close to the hotel we were staying at so I went in there and grabbed some singles of beers from Virginia breweries that I have never seen in Cleveland before (or anywhere else that comes to mind for that matter). This is one of the ones I grabbed. Poured into my pilsner glass, this beer pours a clear, medium amber color with a nice looking white head that is initially at least 2/3 of an inch thick when poured. it doesn't want to stick around long at all unfortunately, opting to quickly settle to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Not much lacing at all either unfortunately. Aromas of come caramel malty sweetness along with some other grains, perhaps including oats. Has a somewhat sweet caramel malt presence upfront that gives ways to hints of raisin and some oats. Also has a bit of a peppery aspect that lingers and that is followed my a mild hint of hops on the very back end of the tongue. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, and smooth, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the was good beer should be. Certainly worth a try.

Eric (1,236 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The bottle backlog here in Chez Woody's kitchen is dwindling, slowly but surely. I am anxious to divest myself of them so that I may resume The CANQuest (TM) in earnest!

My aggro pour created a pseudo-cascade that formed a brief finger of tawny head that quickly exhausted itself and became wisps. Color was a deep-amber (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very sweet with notes of maple syrup and clover honey. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, very soft on the tongue. The taste was much like the nose - quite sweet with notes of syrup and honey along with molasses and brown sugar. Finish was semi-sweet, not quite as cloying as I might have expected. Once again, this was more of a curiosity for me than anything else and now my curiosity (and thirst) was satiated. (791 characters)

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.