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Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

106 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 652
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 30.85%
Wants: 24
Gots: 190 | 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: 106 | Hads: 652
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.

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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.

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Photo of rdilauro
3/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of mpyle
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of delta490
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pours a very off-white creamy head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a dark brownish amber that it is clear. The beer appears to be very clean and filtered but the carbonation seems to be lacking a little bit.

The beer smell is very malty and yeasty with very little hop bitterness. The malts have a sweet caramel smell and the yeast has a bready smell. However, the yeast dominates the nose. The hops do come out in the nose but barely.

The taste, on the other hand, is primarily dominated by the caramel malt taste with the bready yeast taste as an afterthought. There does not seem to be a a large hop taste but some hints of it do come out but not enough to balance out the malt taste.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with very little carbonation. The beer is medium bodied but on the heavier side.

Overall, a decent lager that isn't Sam Adams and worth getting just for some variety.

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Photo of dwren89
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
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!


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Photo of KTCamm
3.91/5  rDev +4%
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

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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

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Photo of jjboesen
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of Budinetz
4.51/5  rDev +19.9%
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!

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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.

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Photo of hdf561
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of rangerred
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

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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!

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Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of streetcommander
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at 36F. Warmed to 50F before final swirl-down.

Very near SA Boston Lager base. Much better subtle fruitiness and depth, and not quite as heavy on the malt. I think the more fruity flavors may come from the yeast strain. Very nice.

Medium bodied, with good carbonation. Very well tempered and really good drinkability. Mellow enough to serve with near any meal. No overpowering or lingering hop presence. Just enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness and esters.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from a mix-a-six. Poured into a pint.

Appearance: Crystal clear copper color. One finger tan head. Barely any retention. No lacing.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and toasted bread. Earthy. Faint herbal hops. Nothing crazy, but just what it should be.

Taste: Excellent malt forward lager. Caramel and nutty flavors with toasted flakey biscuits. Faint hop balance makes this an overall well-crafted lager.

Mouthfeel: Soft smooth, chwey mouthfeel. Super drinkable. Well-balanced. Excellent. No complaints here. Nothing pushing the envelope.Exactly what it should be.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Guden
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep copper with some haze. A small head fades quickly leaving no lacing.

S- Sweet caramel predominates with a little toast, and a hint of woody and spicy hops.

T- Again caramel is the main character up front with some amaretto and toast in the blend. Not super strong in flavor and a bit sweeter than I expected.

M- Fairly low in carbonation and body, kind of watery. A bit lacking in this category.

O- A refreshing beer, I've gone back to it a few times. An easy drinker but nothing amazing.

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.