Victoria Bitter (VB) - Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

Not Rated.
Victoria Bitter (VB)Victoria Bitter (VB)

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142 Reviews
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Reviews: 142
Hads: 295
Avg: 2.34
pDev: 49.15%
Wants: 11
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwarbi on 02-16-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 295
Photo of kitschiguy
1.17/5  rDev -50%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

I used to drink this stuff when I was backpacking in Australia. Well, that was a long time ago and I didn't really know any better. It was cheap!

I was passing a rather scruffy and noisy Australian-themed restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong and the manager who I know called me in for a drink so I decided to have one of these for old times sake.

I poured a well chilled "stubbie" into a 350ml beer glass. Drank approximately half and thought better of it.

Poured a medium yellow with lots of loose carbonation. A thin, loose head disappeared almost immediately and left no lacing whatsoever.

Nose is that of a typically dreadful mass-produced adjunct lager; nasty. Faintly hoppy, metallic, no real complexity. Nothing in particular.

Palate is much the same as the nose; metallic, chemical, slightly bitter and no complexity. Very bland.

Too much artificial carbonation and a light mouthfeel make it quite unpleasant.

Overall an overwhelmingly awful mass-produced lager. Perhaps if chilled to just above freezing on a very hot day with a real thirst on it could be enjoyed. But not by me.

The only positive thing I can say about it, is that it's better than Carlton cold. But not much. It's absolutely terrible.

Highly unrecommended.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.13/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle, I get sweet malt,corn syrup and light bitterness another good beer to put down on a really hot day to quench your thirst. Very sessionable.

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Photo of Bearded_beer_guy_
3/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

This was the beer of my youth and early adulthood.
I don't particularly like the beer but because I spent so much of my early life drinking it it still quenches a thirst on a hot day.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.43/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: so I have finally done a review of VB. This is one of my mainstay standard 'drink while out because it is reasonable and well-priced' options, so take your pick - 375mL bottle, 375mL can, schooner, pint, whatever.

Appearance: pours out a dark amber colour with plenty of carbonation per the style. A one-finger white head hangs about for a time before dropping to a thick cap. Decent.

Aroma: the typical lager aromas of grains, some light grass hops and that's about it. A bit stronger than usual though.

Taste: there are some sweet malts here with a touch of sharp hops. That lasting bitterness for which the beer has been so long a favourite of so many.

Aftertaste: the bitterness lingers somewhat, but for the most part this is a beer to be drunk, not to be savoured.

Mouth feel: a light -to-moderate body with lots of lager carbonation. Brings the flavours forward, and most importantly is an amazing thirst quencher.

Overall: Though Victoria Bitter will probably never be considered one of the world's premium beers, the reason it has been so successful is that it has more flavour than most American Adjunct Lagers, something a bit different with that nice bitterness and is equally as reasonably priced. The final - and arguably most important - reason for its success is that it is one of the most thirst-slaking of Australia's warm-weather beers. a good all-rounder, and pretty hard to beat on value-for-money at AU$42 a case of 24 x 375mL.

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Photo of Connorarnott
5/5  rDev +113.7%

The iconic bottle makes for a history rich pour every time with gentle aromas oozing from the perfectly formed head. Though bitters can often be deemed harsh the subtleties, or nuances if you will, of the expertly engineered mixture of A grade barley and top notch hops really elevate this delightful beer to the next level. I recommend the immediate consumption of this product to anybody with a love for fine beer.

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Photo of Thisdrinkinglife
2.75/5  rDev +17.5%

Review: Bottle of VB beer, 4.9%ABV

Australia’s famous VB with its iconic brown stubby, and the famous aftertaste, great while watching the footie and cricket!

Pours an dark golden color, clear, topped with a thin white head with medium retention, and a little lacing left in the glass.

The aroma is mostly of faint grains, sweet malts and low hops. Sweet malty taste, there is a strong taste of creamy bitterness at the end which I guess is where the "bitter" comes into the equation.

Have to say the sour aftertaste did grow on me, wasnt sure at the start but got to like it in the end.

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Photo of Larry_Moon
3.5/5  rDev +49.6%

Not what you expect from a bitter at all. There is nothing remarkable about its body or flavor but very easy and comfortable to drink. Initially, I had to get past my bitter preconceptions to realize I just enjoy the moreish taste and crispness of this beer. No lingering pallet and a great warm weather beer.

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Photo of ronniebruner
2.92/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First off this beer is decent compared to most other bitters. The appearance is exactly as one would expect for a bitter. The beer pours very average and bland. The aroma is not as sour as other bitters and the taste is a bit sweet, which is a surprise. Not the worst beer in the world , but a nice pleasant surprise.

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Photo of dcmchew
2.31/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Orange pour, small pour head.
Smell of faint grains, sweet malts and low hops.
Sweet malty taste, corn syrup, bit of zest, cut off by mildly bitter hops, skunk and a bit of metal.
Light bodied, medium fizz.
Drinkable, but the usual kinda bad adjunct macrolager. Apparently the most easy to come by in the land down under.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours an orangey golden color, clear, topped with a decent white head and a solid retention.
The aroma is mostly malty along with some biscuity notes.
The taste is pleasantly bitter throughout, with a slightly unpleasant metal feel in the aftertase.
Otherwise nicely drinkable.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

It seems that this beer is ubiquitous in Australia. The "VB" is on many signs overhanging the entries of pubs. Much like Budweiser. From the bottle it pours a dark golden, very yellow color. The aroma is strong with adjunct and little else. Similar experience on the palate with some prickly carbonation to go along with it. There is a touch of bitterness at the end, putting the Bitter in to VB. Overall not my favorite.

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Photo of chinchill
3.22/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Victoria Bitter 4.9% 375ml can in NZ

Aroma: light mix of bready malts and spicy hops

Flavor: Mild; good balance although it is sweet up front and a bit bitter by the finish. The hops
dominate eventually in the mildly bitter and hoppy aftertaste.

Feel: medium-light body; crisp and smooth; good, medium+ carbonation.

O: OK as a decent but cheap and widely available (in NZ) beer.

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Photo of JimiO
3/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a benchmark mass production beer... like Budweiser, Coors, Guinness... it shouldn't be measured critically against boutique micro brews

Being a benchmark... and therefore average... I rate it as 3.0

It is has a nice golden color... good head

Smell is musky and hoppy... simple... not in your face

It goes down smooth... slightly dry... very refreshing

Good carbonation in the mouth... its active

A good beer to drink when you don't have to concentrate on the taste... great for footy and cricket

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Photo of LeeroyAgogo
2.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

I haven't had this beer for at least five years, with good reason, however whilst watching the cricket today I thought I'd give it another go as it felt strangely fitting. As soon as I cracked the bottle open I remembered why I haven't had it for so long. You're imidiatly hit with an odour so offensive you'll fell like you've just slept all night on the floor of a dodgy pup in Sydney's inner west where the carpet hasn't been cleaned for 40 years. The taste isn't any better. Whilst struggling to drink this beer down every bad beer experience I've had with beer came rushing back to me. There isn't much more I an say, I can only agree with other reviews I've read on here.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.37/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

the low end of the Australian cheap beer paradigm. its metallic and often skunky, worse in a can than a bottle, limited in its ability to refresh, and honestly a terrible option for the price. carlton draught over vb in a second, even though I know a lot of people who would disagree. even when this beer is cold, it always feels warm somehow, like soapy and thick, adjunct heavy, and over carbonated. I don't get a yeast profile at all, just a standard yellow beer metallic finish. I would compare it to keystone in the united states, with a little more body, but similar off properties. I drank enough of this to know its poison too, hangovers always seem magnified after a night on vb. don't let its rather limited availability in the united states make you think its worth seeking out, its not. you would do better to get a sixer of coopers pale, which seems to be everywhere these days, if you want an Australian beer experience. leave vb for its loyal consumers down under.

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Photo of Citadel82
2.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Okay, not a huge fan of this one but having been to many countries I can say there are worse beers. I have now tried this in bottle and can. I was asked by dinner hosts to bring Tsing Tao, which Icould not find, so asked the staff at Fine Wines if they knew of a similar, flavorless , yellow lager and this was their suggestion...

Pours more of an amber with a short-lived white head. The aroma was sweetish with some vague hoppy-vegetal notes. Taste was light and slightly dry but mostly sweet grain. Hints of of corn??? dryish finish. Cold and wet was what we were aiming for. This was a little better. I am here for 7 more days, I am sure we will cross paths again. Definitely better than Crown Lager but sadly nothing to feel nostalgia for...

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Photo of jimiboi
2/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is an iconic beer, especially for Victorians. Whilst New South Welshman have their Toohey’s New and Queenslanders have their XXXX Gold, the Southerners have been fortunate enough to have this alcoholic blight attributed to their namesake. I think this beer has survived due to state pride alone. Humbug.

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Photo of Brew_42
1.75/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I lived in Australia for close to a year and I only tried this beer a few times and I hated it every time. However I saw this beer when I was in Europe and I was feeling nostalgic and I thought maybe I should give it one last try. Bad move.

Pours pale yellow with thin white head

Smells- Kind of skunky

Tastes-Not much flavor and what is there isn't very good. Very slight sweetness with a bitter aftertaste.

MF- Slight carbonation

Overall- Not worth it. In the U.S. If you see this beer there is no doubt better options in stock so just don't.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
2.28/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

375ml bottle served in a Weizen glass.

A: Pours a regular and clear yellow color forming a medium and fluffy and very bubbled white head. Medium retention and many lacings left in the glass

S: Sweet grains. Adjunct malts, mainly. Notes of corn, flowery hops and Lager yeasts

T: Sweet malts upfront followed bit a skunky and bit citrus hop bitterness. In overall, a quite dry taste. Adjunct malts are quite annoying. Strong notes of corn and the hops bitterness is medium and quite dry too. Bready Lager style yeasts

M: Light body. Strong carbonation. Adjunct grains and a medium dry hoppy bitterness

O: Low drinkability. I was curious about this beer for long years. Quite disappointing. Not recommended at all

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Photo of GMB
3.47/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Carlton Brewery's Victoria Bitter (VB) pours a slightly darker body than most adjunct lagers; I'd say its color approaches amber. A slightly rigorous pour produces a substantial head that sticks around longer than expected.

The nose is pleasant enough for a cheap lager. Sweet grains dominate; hops are barely detectable; a slightly metallic aroma lurks in the background.

The taste is nicer than expected. Bittering hops have been used to nice effect. The beer hangs on the palate longer than one might expect. Lightly toasted grain flavors are complemented by significant bitterness. As far as macro-brewed adjunct lagers go, this is certainly above-average. I'm impressed. The medium mouthfeel and soft carbonation complement nicely.

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Photo of soju6
2.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: From the iconic brown stubby. Pours a clear copper color with a small head and no real lacing.

S: Has that iconic musty aroma of malt sweetness and grain.

T:Taste of malt sweetness with some grain. Mild bitterness and a slightly sticky finish. pretty bland.

F: Light body, mild crispness and kind of boring.

O: One of the better known lagers from down under. Goes best with hot weather. Enough said.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
2.28/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Straw coloured body with wispy white bubbles
Smells like super malt with a hint of vegimite lmao

big flat taste the malt hits the tongue like muted sugar and you expect the traditional hops kick, nada but a metallic finish and a cheap wine flirt

fizzy and light
makes a half decent lager or an utterly shit bitter.

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Photo of Gazza
2.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Not a good beer whatsoever. Disappointing that an Australian icon like this one is such a bad beer. The bitter taste is way too overwhelming and not balanced or interesting. Needs some nice hops and malts and contrasting flavours to level this out a bit. Really tastes bad in your mouth. Even trying to drink this one really fast too get it over with doesn't work. The taste may not be lingering but it's not a nice feeling in your mouth the moment you take a drink. You will want to pour this one on the garden before you finish and I cannot blame you. Okay it's a working man's beer. The problem is that people drink this religiously and are so faithful they do not even recognise that Carlton and United have stripped down the alcohol content and brainwashed their drinkers as they are only intent on making a profit. What is left is a completely preservative rich and additive rich beer which is completely carbonated and full of chemicals and no longer a natural easy-drinking beer after a hard days work. AVOID. I repeat AVOID (DO NOT BUY A CASE OF THIS, YOU WILL REGRET LOSING YOUR MONEY BUT EVEN MORE, HAVING TO DRINK THIS STUFF). Sorry VB, I wish I could love you.

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Photo of heygeebee
1.61/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

On tap at local RSL.

Oh dear, the Carlton Draught vs VB taste-off.

It looks like beer and has a head and lace, but really not good.

This beer has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Save that it tastes better than Carlton Draught. That metal taste just builds.

Dear dear.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.91/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours a light gold with a 2 finger head of foam and leaves some lacing. A pretty good looking brew.

The smell is of corn, grain, and a nondescript bitterness.

The taste isn't bad up front; there's a decent balance between the corn and grainy sweetness and a light bitterness. On the back end it does get a bit too corny and sweet but overall, it's not that bad. Some compliment for a beer, eh?

Usual carbonation and body for the style, it's easy drinking. It might have been even better before the best by of Aug 2011. :^)

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.