Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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Vienna LagerVienna Lager

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BA SCORE
84
good

89 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 612
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 22
Gots: 170 | 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: 89 | Hads: 612
Photo of jdlarkins
4.8/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at brewery. A great session beer; I echo the other reviews when I say this is one of the best Vienna style beers I have ever tried in USA. Deep ruby color; rich mouthfeel, malty body. I could drink this by the gallon. Too bad it's only avilbe at the brewpub or in to go growlers. (286 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 BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.
4.9% ABV, "Boned on Aug 15 2012" printed on shoulder in black.

Thanks to Chaney for another brew sent in his ungodly large and generous box!

A - From the beer's incredibly designed, painted, illustrated label to the fact the bottle reads "boned on", it's already scoring points and the beer hasn't been poured yet! Once in the glass, a turbid pour froths up a dense off-white bone-colored head with specks of lace dotting the glass once it disappears. The beer is a brilliantly shimmering sienna color with little carbonation streaming through the crystal clear beer.

S - Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager has an amazing crispness about it's aroma that's so simple and intoxicating upon first whiff. Vienna malt creates a plethora of light complexities from wheat toast and flaky biscuits to woodiness that works well with the beer's hop notes of faint herbal and spice notes.

T - Sweet malt suggests caramel tones with a thick bready flavor following and toast notes finishing. Hop balance is certainly prevalent, but it's flavors are near absent. The taste is quite elegant and delicious but not as subtly deep as the aroma.

M - Soft creaminess washes over the tongue while sipping this medium-light bodied lager. Gentle carbonation keeps the feel lively with a touch of dryness on the finish that's balanced by the hops.

O - Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager is a malt-forward classic rendition of a great German style. Soft and smooth with a well-balanced malt sweetness, the beer is easy drinking, delightfully simple, but filled with understated complexities. (1,605 characters)

Photo of Budinetz
4.51/5  rDev +20.3%
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! (612 characters)

Photo of rugerj
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours copper in color with a half finger head that dissipates quickly, decent lacing left in glass. The smell is of toasted malts and caramel with a slight fruit hint. Taste is toasted and caramel malt with some subdued fruity notes. Carbonation is spot on.

This is my go to beer when at the brewery, outside of some German offerings, this is hands down the best Vienna Lager I have had produced in the states. The beer is very well made and is consistent every time I go here. I would love seeing this bottled. (518 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - clear brown beer with 1 finger head that quickly disappears. Not a very top notch appearance for a beer.

s - an excellent smelling lager. One of the best. Very malty, bready, and sweet caramel and other very pleasant aromas pour out of the glass

t - very perferct lager with sweet malts and smooth finish. Very flavorful and easy to drink. Extremely sessionable.

m - as nice a lager can really be I guess. No issues at all.

overall - There is a reason this beer took home gold medal at the 2012 beerworldcup. Its a fine tasting beer by any measure. (556 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: copper in color with a short 1/4" head that broke apart quickly.

Smell: caramel and some fruit sweetness came through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, soft fruity tones, some mild grass flavors, and a hint of bitterness makes up a nicely balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: superb sessionable beer as this went down quickly and the alcohol level is low. Great flavors make this one a must try while at the brewpub. (513 characters)

Photo of goindownsouth
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BA "velkyal" for the growler from Devil's Backbone Brewing - my first foray into their offerings.

This lager poured into my handled 0.4L glass tuliped mug with an impressive copper color and a somewhat short-lived 1/4" head.

Aromas of bready, biscuity goodness that comes from all well-crafted lagers, along with hints of warm caramel and dark fruit sweetness.

Smooth on the palate without being heavy, this lager offered great balance in the malty body with just enough hops to keep it honest. Each sip left me wanting more. Well balanced, which can be hard to accomplish with a simple style such as this.

Outstanding drinkability, although not in the realm of session beer "by definition", this was a lager I had no trouble consuming in multiple. Good flavor, well balanced and still having something extra. A beer like this reminds me that there may be hope for craft lagers in this country after all.

Na'zdravi! (937 characters)

Photo of donscott
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (280 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 bum732
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Toasty malt, a very deep toasted grain note, some maltiness, touch of sulfur lager notes.

L: Crystal clear amber, white head that dissipates.

T: Toasted malt up front with some sweetness. A prominent herbal/spicy medium low bitterness. Finishes semi-dry with a clean low spiciness.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Really good. Has a very unique toasty flavor, quite intense. Maltiness is toned back, allowing the toastiness and hops to shine. Awesome. (464 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 jjboesen
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (263 characters)

Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (1,356 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma comes across as very nutty and toasty with slight hints of caramel. Its subtle but very very good.

Beautiful looking beer! You honestly couldn't ask for more. Brilliantly clear pure amber color with a really nice white head and subtle but adequate lacing. The etched glass helps with the appearance by creating nucleation sites so I can see some carbonation.

Taste is very nutty as well. It has a nice strong nut and bread flavor (not so much toast, but maybe burnt toast). Not really getting any caramel in the flavor, but some nice floral notes too.

Finishes dry, moderate carbonation, and thin to medium body. And it's SUPER easy to drink! Defiantly would be a go-to session ale if I could buy it locally (ahem). (724 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a frothy head. Subtle nose of bread and malt.

Wow -- malt sweetness with a hint of toasted bread and caramel with a clean dry-down; really fits with the style. Really smooth and balanced lager. Carbonation is nice and lifts the sweetness off of the palate. Great summer beer or for times when something lighter-bodied will do.

My first time having this was at the Gloucester, VA Brew Jam. It was mighty tasty in the warm weather. I would definitely session this beer. (496 characters)

Photo of WMEugene
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly orangey amber color with a head that dissipates to a thin layer and very good lacing.

S - Rich toasted and caramel malts. A little sweet and fruity.

T - Sweet malt and nutty tastes. Some caramel is present as well. Nice, clean lager taste.

M - Smooth, crisp, and very drinkable. Great carbonation and a nice body.

O - Devil's Backbone has made a very good lager here. The Vienna Lager is a classic example of the style and a very drinkable brew. It may not be the best of the style (that honor belongs to Great Lakes' Eliot Ness), but it is one of the better ones. Quite sessionable. (608 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer from a style that normally doesn't get attempted, I'm sure because most beer people like the more complex stuff, like myself. This one seemed especially nice though, I can see why it's won awards.

A: Dark crimson color with a dark black core to the hue. Nice pinky of fluffy white head, very nice. Semi clear body overall.

S: Toasty caramel and some nice grape sweet notes, maybe other medium skinned fruits also. Amber cereal malts shine through.

T: Nice lager clean malt character with lots of toasted cereal and fresh bread, again the grapey-sweet note is there with other caramel-toffee flavors as well. A little cocoa powder in there as well.

M: Nice clean feel with ample carbonation. Goes down fairly easy, though I wish it had a little more body.

Overall a nice beer thats easy to drink and tasty enough that a beer love would appreciate this. (871 characters)

Photo of Crazyale
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber, with a one finger head that disappears almost immediately.

S: A fairly bold aroma of roasted malt, apple, and a touch of spice.

T: Rich, sweet malt taste at the beginning, with some noble hop biterness coming through at the end. There is some bread that comes out as it warms a little, along with just a hint of the apple. Extremely drinkable. I haven't had a ton of Vienna Lagers, but this stacks up very well with Sam Adams Boston Lager and Brooklyn Lager, which are two that I enjoy a lot.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a mostly dry finish. Not a lot of carbonation. There is a pleasant malt aftertaste that lingers on the tongue.

I'm very impressed by this beer from a new Virginia brewery. At 4.9%, it is highly sessionable, and I will definitely be buying multiple 6 packs of this this summer. (874 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/1/12
*From notes

A: Clean jack o'lantern orange. A good pour yields a clean 1.5 finger ivory white head. A thick white collar and decent lacing rim the glass.

S: Sweet malt and grain. Not overly earthy, and not the old world type you may think. As it warms, a touch of hops become evident.

T: Initially a bit sweet. The toasted golden malts and a touch of buttered toast arrive on the mid and wash to the back. A kiss of hops linger on the finish. Not quite as robust as Sam Adams Boston Lager or Great Lakes Eliot Ness, yet just as tasty.

M: Plenty of body and complexity to go around. Thick and creamy with proper carbonation.

O: Devil's Backbone has crafted a really killer session lager with this one. A bit lighter on the toast then some of the better known in-style, yet just as quaffable and easy to drink. I could see this being a great gateway beer for the macro crowd, and something I'll purchase again when it finally comes to Northern Virginia.

Another winner from Virginia. Easily recommended. (1,057 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 TechTriumph
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code: 0352 A1 2311; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch off-white creamy, carbonated head that sticks around for a minute or two; Clear appearance and copper in color; No real lacing left behind

S - Nice balance in the smell with herbal, spicy, and floral hops, as well as toasted grains, lemon zest, and syrupy sweetness

T - Just a bit of herbal hops are present here, as the taste mostly showcases sweet malts; There's biscuity, toasted grain, lemony citrus, caramel, and syrupy sweet flavors stepping forward; The sweet syrup lingers in the aftertaste with a touch of herbal hops

M - Plenty of carbonation; Just a bit under medium bodied; Very smooth going down; Leaves a bit of a syrupy sweet coat on the tongue

O - Overall, this is a pretty tasty Vienna lager that's super drinkable and great for drinking in numbers. Though the taste is fairly sweet, it's not too overpowering and provides enough Noble hops to create a well rounded flavor. I'm glad this beer is now being distributed in six packs and look forward to picking up some more in the future. (1,072 characters)

Photo of pablot71
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a growler. Malty bready aroma. No Hops detected. clear Deep copper. Plenty of head that doesn't stick around. Moderate amount of lacing. Slightly sweet with the bitterness creeping in at the end. Medium to full mouth feel. Overall it is a very enoyable lager. This is the one that stood out for me in the sampler enough to want to take home in a growler. (384 characters)

Photo of JEdmund
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel colored, clear, ½” head that settles

Smells doughy, like biscuits, as well as a touch of caramel, and Noble hops.

Malty and smooth! Has a nice clean finish. Full flavored, yet so drinkable and light enough to have a few—or a liter’s full! Finish is dry and hoppy, with almost a stone-like flavor (earthy?).

Extremely balanced for a malt-forward beer. Very clean. A real treat to enjoy. And having had only a handful of Vienna lagers before, this one really stands out and I can see why it earned a gold in its category at the World Beer Cup this year. (569 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
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 (304 characters)

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.