Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

94 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 623
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 24
Gots: 175 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 94 | Hads: 623
Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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 Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub last weekend.

Pours a clear copper color with a single-finger white head and a ring or two of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some slight notes of bread and caramel and a faint hop presence. The flavor is mostly bread crust and a touch of caramel with light hops toward the finish, providing a nice bitterness. Light body and good carbonation. Another winning lager. (397 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bubble show at the outset and then a three inch head settles on the copper colored liquid; patchy lacing

Smell: Caramel, biscuit and a hint of tea

Taste: Caramel, up front, with bit of biscuit and tea flavors developing; caramel dominates throughout

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, very creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a style I often seek out but this is a great example of what it should be (431 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
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 oberon
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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! (402 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Do they drink a bunch o' similarly-styled brews in good ol' Osterreich? No matter, this one pours a clear pale amber topped by a finger of quickly-dying white foam. The nose comprises tofee, buttered biscuits, and a dab o' honey. Honestly, this is sweeter than I imagined it would be. The taste is not as sweet, holding notes of light caramel, light honey, rye bread, and a bit o' citrus zest. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a decently smooth feel. Overall, a slightly above average Vienna, nicely drinkable but not much beyond that. (593 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is yellow and mostly clear with decent carbonation and a soft white head with decent retention that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Looks like a beer.

The aroma is sweet with pilsen malt and no vegetal or off notes in the aroma, a little weak but still quite good.

Beer is wet and medium to light in body without being watery. Strong malt presence props this beer up nicely. The finish isn't dry or grainy, no apparently acidity just a nice finish. I'd have this beer again. (486 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
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)

Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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 smakawhat
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice amber body, hinting at red and crystal clear but makes barely an off white head of about a finger, creamy looking but doesn't stick around at all. There's very little carbonation to see hardly.

Nose is interesting. Grainy, with a butter brown sugar sense, sort of baked and cookie like but it's a very small nose and quiet closed. Sense that this is quite light in body coming.

Taste comes in fits and bursts. Light toasty aroma with some good mouthfeel depth. Lingering malt lightness mixes with faint brown sugar ever so slightly, even a little char. The depth is here, but the taste seems hammered down. Some warmth later brings faint sticky caramel, and maybe even some chocolate sense.

Overall it's actually pretty decent but sort of tuned down I think a little too much. THe sweetness comes a little more noticeable as it warms up. It's alright. (915 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +13%

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 corby112
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured copper with a medium white cap, transparent body, crystal clear, the head fades in a New York minute leaving a copper liquid ithout any lacing or bubbles present

S: Nose is faint with a lightrly toasted note, some nuts thrown in for good measure and a very faint windex like note

T: Initial taste is a bit astringent leading into a combo of toasted grains, biscuits and nuts. A little toffee is detected but there is a underlying bitterness that tags along throughout the taste, really detected more upfront and mid taste. The finish is light, somewhat refreshing, more toastiness and nuts with a light bite

M: Light bodied as it should be, well carbonated for the style, no major complaints.

O: No major flaws, recommendation is a tighter, longer head. The nose could be stouter, a little more sweetness could happen and less bite. (846 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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 tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark gold beer with a small, slowly settling head and some patchy lacing. Aroma is bready and slightly toasty malt; some sweetness detected as well as a faintly floral note underneath.

Sweet and somewhat bready malt flavor with assertive caramel sweetness. Light floral hop presence emerging mostly in the swallow and finish; overall low bitterness.

Clean and crisp with a semi-dry finish. Medium to slightly light bodied with medium carbonation. Decently refreshing. Not bad at all but also not particularly exceptional; might be just a touch too sweet for my liking. Easy drinking. (592 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've heard great things about this brewery, and hopefully they deliver. Bottle from Chevy Chase.

A dark amber with a dense, white head that falls off to a ring rather quickly, leaving no lace, this looks decent. The nose is pretty excellent. A nice, rich, complex, bready Vienna malt character is present, with a firm noble hop bitterness, a little leafy and a little lemony. This smells extremely clean.

The palate opens with a blend of earthy hop bitterness, a little calcium/chalky mineral character and a toasty malt character. A little bit of burnt sugar, toffee, toast and bread are also present, all excellent flavors in great balance. What this beer does lack, however, is a little bit of body to carry these flavors, as it is a little watery on the mid-palate. Drying, mildly bitter (herbal, leafy) on the finish, with a light mineral character, this beer is light (too light) in body and has a medium-high level of carbonation. Solid stuff, definitely worthy, but I think the Sam Adams Boston Lager is a better alternative. (1,035 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  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. (554 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev +22.9%
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 Darkmagus82
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep amber color with a big billowy white head. The head has huge carbonation bubbles entrapped within which pop rather quickly to give a head that recedes fast to give only a very light level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is rather light with some notes of roasted malt and a very light caramel smell.

Taste – A dry roasted malt flavor meets the tongue. This flavor is then present throughout the whole of the taste. While overall dry up front, there is a very light sweetness. The sweetness fades over the taste experience while a light herbal hop taste enters the taste. In the end the roasted malt and light hop flavors give a nice dry and crisp flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A rather thin body with a good level of carbonation. Very fitting for the style and it makes for one refreshing and easy drinking brew.

Overall – While rather simple in its flavors, it is quite delicious and refreshing. A fantastic session brew. (1,000 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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 cbutova
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
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 blackie
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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 (765 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.