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

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

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291 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 291
Reviews: 146
rAvg: 2.4
pDev: 32.5%
Wants: 11
Gots: 26 | 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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Ratings: 291 | Reviews: 146
Reviews by M_C_Hampton:
More User Reviews:
Photo of doktorhops
1.41/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

It is with a sense of foreboding that I arrive at my least favourite of all beers: VB. Well I figured I'm going to try review every beer I can get my grubby little hands on (actually my hands are quite clean and average sized). Without further ado; as I would rather not have any ado for this dreaded brew, I bring you the VB review... err, spew.

Poured from a 375ml can (or "tinnie") into a cheap, cheap 500ml pokal (no use tainting my nice glassware).

A: This is the probably the only good thing I will say about VB; it has a decent enough translucent amber body. There was a centimeter white head which fizzled down to nothing, leaving ne'er a trace of lace.

S: Smells like a trash bag full of musty grains and corn that had been left in the cupboard to dry for three months... with a hint of sugarcane sweetness. No hops. None.

T: Tastes as bad as I remember it, so at least they've managed some consistency over the years; the front palate has elements of a cider without the goodness of apples, it's slightly sweet with a mineral water element, but in the back notes is where it really messes with (and promptly takes a crap on) your taste buds; the hops in this beer give it a tangy bitter bite without any herbaceous or fruit characters and you are left with this aftertaste not unlike the one you would get if you licked a damp sewer rat.

M: Watery and far too fizzy.

D: I'm not exactly sure how to describe how much of a disaster this beer is... it fails epically on so many levels... just to illustrate how bad VB really is here is a list of colloquial names that this brew is called across our fine nation: "Vomit Beer", "Visitors Beer" (for the plethora of migrants who drink it), "Green Death", "Dirty Rotten Vic" or my personal favourite "Vaginal Backwash". You have been warned!

Food match: Slightly raw sewer rat with sautéed cat hair balls if we were going for a flavour profile match, otherwise to save your taste buds from the trauma of VB I would recommend the hottest buffalo wings you can find... trust me on that.

NB: First beer I've reviewed that I had to tip down the sink because I couldn't finish it.

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.73/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a big 800ml bottle lugged back directly from Australia by my friend Liam. It pours into my glass a clear radiant golden orange color with a sparse light bubbly white head on top. The color stands out more than most macro lagers, gotta give it that much. Aroma is a mix of sweet corn and grains, a touch skunky with some fruity tones as well. Skunked herbal hop in the background. Eh...not much really going for it in the aroma department unfortunately.

First sip brings sweet grains and creamed corn upfront. It's a bit toasted with a light fruitiness as well. Plenty of grassy, herbal hops on the way down that remain a bit skunky tasting as well. Finishes clean and smooth without much aftertaste. This really isn't bad for what it is.

Mouthfeel is light with fast paced carbonation. Doesn't really have much in the way of body, though it is refreshing. Overall, this really fails to grab my attention and it's not something I'd go back to considering all the other beers that are available to me.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.09/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Only my third Australian brew (after Fosters and Coopers). I've heard of Victoria Bitter before, and always wanted to give it a go. Except I found out that it ain't a bitter; it's a run-of-the-mill lager. Great...

Poured into a lager glass. A decent golden hue, lots of visible carbonation, with about a 1/2 inch of frothy head. Retains itself fairly well, leaving a ring with a thin layer for the first half pint or so.

And then there's the smell. I have no idea what it is, but it ain't pleasant. Smells tinny and industrial, with a strange, strawberry-sugar backing that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe apple or corn syrup. Neither hops nor malts factor in whatsoever.

The taste isn't much better. Starts off with a strangely saccharine sweetness, perhaps a bit of honey, but finishes with a foul, bitter chemical concoction. I guess there's hops here, I'm not really sure what it is. Not pleasant to finish.

Despite the visible carbonation (or perhaps, in spite of it), a surprisingly flat brew. Watery and without much bite.

I should have figured that the only brews we'd get from down under would be the mass-produced lager type. Craft brews aren't going to travel all the way up here. About the only positive for this brew is that it's motivating me to take a trip to Australia to discover what the 'real' Aussie beer drinking scene is all about.


Photo of btmo
2.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Yet another macro. Nothing special, nothing overly offensive. Just another hot day beer, if serve cold.

VB is another triumph of marketing over taste - it is available everywhere, but apart from the green label, there isn't a damn thing to distinguish this from every other CUB offering.

Roll the dice - it won't make any difference which one you choose.

Photo of Danimal
4.8/5  rDev +100%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a fan of VB. I have been to the land down under several times while in the Marine Corps. Any bar I went into, VB was the beer of choice.

Appearance: Medium head and clear yellow color

Smell: Light maltly smell mixed with a subtle sweet scent

Taste: In the hot Aussie sun, a VB is best served ice cold. Goes down great. And it doesn't have Bitter in the name for no reason. A full flavored beer. Great for anyday anytime drinking.

Mouthfeel: Felt great to me. In a can, bottle, or out of the tap.

Drinkability: I found it very drinkable. I prefered it over the other beers in Aussie Land. Prefer it over Carlton, Coopers and Fosters.

I don't understand all the bad reviews for Victoria Bitter. Maybe for me it was the environment or maybe the hot Aussie sun, but VB was the best beer in Australia. I remember going to the store and buying 4 cases for the weekend on Friday nights. That would usually last me from Friday night to Sunday night. With no hangover.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.43/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 375ml stubby bottle with a BB of Sept 2011 - so just out of date. Picked up cheap from my local off-licence.

Poured into a standard pint glass. A clear pale gold hue with some floating sediment and medium carbonation. Produces a small head of white foam that disappears almost immediately. Faint aroma of light malt with a stale, musty note in the background.

Tastes of light malt with a mild hint of stewed leaves. No depth to the flavour, and an acrid note lingering on the finish. Mouthfeel is watery and thin, with tingly carbonation. Leaves the palate slightly dry, with an unpleasant stale aftertaste.

Poor, even for industrial lager. Watery and tasteless. It might be that this is a bit old, but I'm not gonna rush out and get more to double-check. Avoid.

Photo of chinchill
3.22/5  rDev +34.2%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev +58.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear light golden color, with a thin but fluffy white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lace.

This beer smells ever so slightly spicy. It has a boiled cabbage odor that I usually detect from this style. It is not nearly as bad as most other beers of the style. The aroma is very subtle

This beer tastes ever so mildly spicy. It has a slightly sweet flavor also. Not too much to it, but as with the aroma, it is better than some Adjunct Lagers I have had.

This beer is crisp. It leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is carbonated well for the style.

This beer would probably make a decent session beer. The flavor is not overwhelming, and not too bad. Also, the alcohol content is not high.

Overall: In the past, before I was into craft beer, I loved this beer. Every time I went to Australia, or Asia, I would get it. I have bar towels, T-shirts, beer glasses. I loved it. Now that I am into craft beer, I see that it is nothing special. But for the style, I still think it is a great beer. I stay away from the style, but I would definately drink this one again.

Photo of rastaman
1.3/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Adjuncts -a-plenty in this brew, smells awful, and no surprises it tastes awful, manages to have some flavour (even if it isn't good flavour, this is the most poular beer in Australia, but then again Budweiser is the most popular beer in america. VB was the first beer i ever had, and i still get stuck drinking more than i'd like coz often its the only beer available. Pretty nasty beer. Tastes better on the way out.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.6/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(Served in a short strange)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear bright yellow body with strands of tiny bubbles gliding up to a snow white creamy head that lasted for a bit.
S- There is a soft field corn note to the nose but otherwise it is very clean.
T- There is a soft sulfury bitter hop note that finishes with a field corn flavor that grows and lingers more as the beer warms. M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a clean finish.
D- This beer is a bit bland with the field corn notes being the only real flavors.

Photo of anders36
2.21/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a yellow-golden colour. The head is big and white when poured into the glass, but the head disappears quickly. It has a discrete smell, with hints of hops. The taste is light and a bit fruity with some hints of bitterness. Some tastes of hops too. Some of my friends love this beer, but it is not a beer for me.

Photo of biboergosum
2.06/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I likes me the stubbie bottle design, like I'm an extra in 'Strange Brew'...

This beer pours a clear light golden colour, with minimal thin soapy white head, that leaves a bit of lacing. It smells of bitter beer white cracker malt. The taste is metallic and acrid, the grainy malt way in the background, any hop essence lost in the unpleasant kind of bitterness. The carbonation is moderate, the body pretty thin, and the finish is off-dry and pretty skunky. One of these is more than enough for me, funky bottle or not.

Photo of Anonmatel
1.1/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I don't like this beer, i never have. It's watery, boring, sweet (sorry folks but Victoria Bitter aint that bitter). It tastes almost exactly as both Melbourne Bitter, and Crown Lager.

Oh and their Ad campaings run me up the wall. They look like they come straight out of the 80' (i think they did). And they promote their beer to the Working class Yobbos, Westies, Boagans (rednecks for all you Americans).

Photo of LeeroyAgogo
2.09/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Sammy
2.01/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I am trying to be constructive. This pours yellow with white foam. Cheesy aroma. A little below average mouthfeel. A little malt in taste, near metallic. The taste is authentic wet cardboard. undrinkable.Aggressive carbination.Poor even for its style.

Photo of jahsausage
3.26/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its a beer that for some reason I am ashamed to like but like it I do. Its basically a watery lager with a hoppy bite but for some reason this appeals to my taste-buds. Apparently its quite popular over the tasman in aussieland but over here in new zealand drinking australian beer is somewhat frowned upon. Especially like it seeing as NZ brewery regulations in the 40s taxed beers over 1035 original gravity making the 4% beer a NZ norm. Luckily not only is VB 4.9% its cheaper than some of the slop our big NZ breweries try to sell (like tui and the lamentable export gold).

Photo of Hashes
2.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well what can I say about a beer, which at 4.9% was one of Melbourne's best bitter beers many years ago.

This bitter beer has fallen apart, from 4.9% to 4.8% now 4.6% this beer has been ruined, also their is only a slight bitter taste,but this slight bitter taste is confused with a sweet taste, also it is confusing drinking this beer served from a hotel tap.

In some hotels the slight bitter taste is more than in other hotels.

I do not drink this beer anymore, I have switched to hammer & Tongs a 4% draught beer.

Photo of Andrewziggy
3.02/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad at all sweet malty taste with bitterness I actually don't mind

Photo of Mandrake
2.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper with a fairly thick white head that lasts a few minutes before dissipating into nothingness and leaving no lacing. Smells grainy and sickly sweet, the malts way out of balance and the adjuncts obvious. Taste is more of the same. Some caramel in the malts is the only discernable element of any interest. Mouthfeel is rather thin and watery, but not terrible, and drinkability is pretty much standard. Not too bad really, given that my expectations were geared low for an Australian lager.

Photo of Franchise
3.03/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is from the "Beers down under" 6 pack from Australia. This offering IMO is the best of the 6 pack poured a golden yellow with a soft white head. The aroma is fresh, somewhat floural, a malty caramel presence is faint. The taste is sweet, more of a mashmallow sugary presence then the nose let on. There is a decent hop bitterness for balance, the mouthfeel is syrupy that surprisingly coats the throat with a bit of bitter grapefruit honey sweetness in the finish.

Photo of Stocean1
2.95/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - one finger white head on a yellow straw body, little rention or lacing

S - grainy and a faint malt

T - grain, hint of bitterness, dry biscuit, metallic twang

M - light body, lots of carbonation, some bitterness

O - a very ordinary brew, could be worse but not worth seeking out

Photo of paxkey
2.35/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Does not say Victoria Bitter anywhere on Can. only a large VB. 4.6% ABV
proudly australian since 1854.

after cracking the can a quick whiff brings about alot of grassiness. smells a little like sewer gas. strong punguent and initially unpleasant with a sick sweetness if you continue to smell.

poured in a chimay glass. very light colored. pale yellow straw colored. thin white head clings loosely on the top. lots of bubbles and carbonation.

aroma is grassiness and artifical smelling malt. smells like a the generic poorly made euro light lagers.

very thin and light with a sharp carbonation bite.
this hardly tastes like beer. its definitely a malt beverage with no discernable hops. a slight resinous residue at the end which may be hops but no hop flavor or bitterness.

fizzy yellow beer.

Photo of amicar
3.25/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, it seems noody else liked this one much but me...
I have to admit I'm pretty unimpressed with most of the Aussie beers I tried, but for some reason I liked this one more than most people apparently.

Typical golden color with white head that leaves a little trace of itself. Not much to smell, but a little light herbal stuff; the taste is a litle floral and has a nice little bit of bitterness incvolved. Crisp on the tongue and easy enough to drink. I did have a few of these throughout my stay... Never wowed, but never disappointed...

Photo of BeerSingh
2.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Although I have had this beer back in Sydney, this is one of the latest imports to hit the Indian market. I decided to have a go.

Poured from the can into a pint glass. It kind of collapsed without raising a head, so it was pretty disappointing from the word go. It was clear and piss yellow, with a bunch of bubble lines shooting up but eventually just bursting into nothingness. The smell was grain and grass all the way. A wee bit of corny sweetness if you concentrated hard enough. The taste was dull, bland and very watery - only noticeable aspect was the bite on your palate because of the mega carbonation. The mouthfeel became abrasive because of the lack of any flavour to speak of. A little sweetness, a little bitterness - but far too attenuated to be of any value.

I am normally not opinionated, but pick up a VB only if you want to write a review.

Photo of mikesgroove
1.8/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i shall not all out the ba that sent me this one as an extra no matter how funny he was trying to be, but needless to say i had to indulge his joke an try it.

poured into a pint glass the fizzy yellow liquid instantly popped up a nice head of white that quickly faded and left, well fizzy pale liquid. aroma was that of stale corn, wet hay that had been, well lets not go there, it was a mess. each sip was soo light and indescribable it was hard to really put in words. it was just liquified corn and hay, just not needed.

overall fits right in with american macros, just a bad, bad beer.

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 291 ratings.