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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

260 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 2.36
pDev: 31.78%
Wants: 7
Gots: 11 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dwarbi on 02-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doktorhops
1.43/5  rDev -39.4%
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.

doktorhops, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Stocean1
2.95/5  rDev +25%
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

Stocean1, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Cawdog
2.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: It doesn't look that bad, a golden colour with an acceptable head, but still pretty ordinary.

S: off grains, slightly metalic.

T: slightly sweet, metallic aftertaste. It does, however, have a very distinct flavour, and more flavour than Carlton Draught.

M: Carbonation is very high, and the body is thin too.

O: It is iconic, and acceptable when ice cold on a hot day, it has an endearing quality in that respect, but not the sort of beer you'd sit down to savour. There are certainly worse beers going around.

EDIT: This beer has been 4.6% ABV for a few years.

Cawdog, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of
1.68/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - pale yellow with a finger of white head that very quickly dissipates to a frothy ring. Noticeably large carbonation bubbles that rise aggressively, giving the beer the look of ginger ale.

Smell - very sweet adjunct aromas, no trace of hops aroma or malty complexity.

Mouthfeel - light bodied and aggresively carbonated.

Taste - Sweet malt and that's about it. Perhaps a little bit fruity, a bit cidery. Faint trace of hops, but so faint that I could have imagined it.

This is not bitter. It's not a bitter. It barely even tastes like beer.

, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.93/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

That's right, it's not a typo. A wonderful extra from excellent trader MrKennedy. I specifically requested a couple of these because I want to feel the full Aussie Metalhead effect!!! THRASH!!!

By the way, I love the band Coheed and Cambria and after seeing them again last night, I have even more respect for the talent of Claudio Sanchez...If someone doesn't find a way to put out a solo acoustic album with him, I'll finance the freaking thing myself!!!

This beer is exactly what you'd expect from the biggest selling beer in any particular region, but this screams Aussie Thrash Metal party!!! Put on some Abominator and grill up some fat burgers!!! Thrash!!!

It's clear....It's cold...THAT'S SOME HIGH QUALITY H2O!!!

Look, you're not gonna wow anyone with this, but it sure goes down quick and has a surprising amount of flavor for what basically amounts to an AAL (American Adjunct Lager, for those not into the acronymics)...In fact, I have to say I prefer this to most BMC style stuff...And I'll bet it's cheaper than good water in some parts of the world, so there you go...

What I like most: Hey, what's NOT to love?? THRASH!!!

What I like least: Hey, who said this was high-falutin' stuff? Not me, that's for sure...THRASH!!!

Verdict: Never tries to be anything it isn't, and I'll bet you can get a case for less than a nice steak. THRASH!!!!

SolomonGrundy, May 08, 2011
Photo of paxkey
2.35/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

paxkey, May 03, 2011
Photo of korguy123
2.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml can into dfh signature glass. Bb date 09/06/2011

A- pale yellow in color, half finger head disappears almost instantly. Carbonation looks minimal. Lacing is non existent.

S- watered down apple cider. Grass, hay, slight pee smell (like going to a bar bathroom)

T- The taste follows the nose quiet well, the pee is replaced by apple skins and copious amounts of mineral water. Very bland. For what it is, it really isn't awful.

M- watery and thin on the tongue. Carbonation is there but not lively enough.

O- Decent adjunct, would be better out of the can on a blisteringly hot day. Would not revisit, but a good alternate choice to the big three.

korguy123, May 01, 2011
Photo of liamt07
1.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Can from the Beer Store, 500ml into a pint glass. Best before Sept 6, 2011 printed on the can.

Poured a pale gold, fluffy white head of a few fingers that laces quite a bit. High carbonation is visible. Nose: yowzers. Distinct 'urine' quality, metallic, cooked veggies/corn, lots of grainiess. Taste is very metallic throughout. "Tin-iness" lingers in the finish. Body is full of grain, and really watery. A general sweetness to it, contrasted by an unpleasant bitterness, almost an odd roasty quality at times. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, fizzy; moreso than most soft drinks. An unpleasant macro, had to pound this. I had no other choice, without drain-pouring this.

liamt07, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of kwjd
2.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear yellow colour with huge white head that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing on the glass. Smells of some grains, a little bit grassy, but very mild overall. Despite the name, the beer doesn't have much bitterness to it. Fairly thin mouthfeel. In terms of bad Australian beer, I think this is better than Foster's.

kwjd, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
1.78/5  rDev -24.6%
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.

mikesgroove, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of burnheartsMKE
1.35/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

VB sucks. I could barely drink it. It was the first adjunct lager I had consumed since starting my daily beer project on the first of the year and I truly believe that I lost even an ironic desire for shit beers in less than two months.

Think soured corn cider, carbonated piss and bum-breath. This beer really put my reason to find a higher-level of meaning via brewing into perspective.

VB, thanks for making me realize I have no room in my belly or Life for beer like you anymore!

burnheartsMKE, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of Antikythera
3.1/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is not undrinkable. It was only slightly bitter, so if you like bitter hoppy stuff you won't like this. It has a very light flavour and carbonation, and I can see it being pretty refreshing in hot weather. More flavour than your average mass-produced two-four beer. Depending on the price I might pick some up in the summer, or I may just stick with my favourite lagers.

Antikythera, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of NATOuk
2.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and Straw coloured, well carbonated. Head forms and dissipates quickly.

Earthy, grassy smell which isn't strong

Not a particularly strong tasting beer. The initial taste is mostly of the carbonation, the finish has a slight hop bitterness which fades quickly. While not unpleasant, the taste is rather weak.

Light bodied, Pleasant medium carbonation.

This is a disappointing beer as I had heard a lot of good things prior to trying it but I find it tastes rather weak and nondescript. Saying that, it is not unpleasant, it would a good choice for a summer BBQ or hot day where a lager taste would be preferred.

NATOuk, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of tai4ji2x
1.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

from notes, tasted mid to late june 2009, kro's nest, beijing, china

best by date of apr 15, 2010. importer label indicates a bottling date of one year before that.

poured into mug.

clear golden straw. 1-finger fizzy white head soon fades to wispy thin layer, then just ring. no lace.

aroma is nearly non-existent, even as it warms. slight hint of euro hops, almost sulfurous. touch of saltine crackers. maybe some white grape esters? maybe.

taste: hints of malty bread and yeasty fermentation w/ sulfur hint underneath a bold hop bitterness, with almost no other hop flavor such as leafy, herbal or grassy. touch of chemical note only ends up accentuating the sulfur in an unpleasant way.

relatively thin and watery. not undrinkable, but carbonation is fizzy and doesn't really help to cleanse the acrid chemical astringency.

tai4ji2x, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of wordemupg
2.15/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml can poured into pint glass jan3 2011

A golden yellow with lots of tiny particles and almost no carbonation and a three finger head that was gone as soon as I turned my head and left no lace

S skunky lemon and maybe some grass

T not far from the smell but even less pleasant, it just tastes off nothing worth drinking

M fairly watery and pretty flat

D not drain pour but nothing I'd ever pay for again

My spouse is from Melbourne and even she thinks this beer sucks, her father however may smash you to pieces if you ever badmouthed VB

wordemupg, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of DrJay
2.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear, pale gold with a fizzy white cap. Fair retention, a bit of spotty lace. Aromas of cereal, grain, lemons. Low bitterness, sweet with some apple and lemon flavour. Faint bitterness in the finish. Light bodied, moderate carbonation, quite dry. Not something I'd come back to again.

DrJay, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Hashes
2.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Hashes, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of Viggo
2.15/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500 ml can from the LCBO. Why? No idea.

Pours a crystal clear golden, pretty dark for an adjunct lager, fluffy white head forms and quickly settles down to a very thin ring, no lacing, looks pretty standard.

Smell is pretty average, vague fruitiness, corn, lots of adjunct sweetness, a bit of garbage bag, not a whole lot going on, lightly grassy and floral, not good.

Taste is worse, apple juice, corn and adjuncts, lightly sweet, a touch of floral, watery, no finish, not good.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, just weak and watery and what little flavour there is isn't very pleasant.

Viggo, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Finite
2.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yellow to light gold in colour with a reasonable head and lacing. Retention is good to poor.

Smell is of a DMS type buttery aroma. Some PR hops and other malts.

Plain and grainy, husky malt flavours, more DMS type flavour which I think actually doesn't ruin the beer.

A finer carbonation than one would expect from a macro but overall the thin mouthfeel and water body of the beer leaves you not at all satisfied.

Try on tap for a .5 better beer.

Finite, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of allergictomacros
2.78/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear straw, moderate white head is slightly sticky.

S - Odd mix of light grassy hop and feet.

T - A little lemon, a little grass, a little extra acidity and a husky grain.

M - A bit of a watery body and a spritzy cabonation.

D - Mild and mostly inoffensive. Pretty typical pale lager. Not bad, but very drinkable.

allergictomacros, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of tobeerornottobe
1.68/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Bubbly head which fades disappointingly quickly. Lacing actually better than I expected, but it's still not that good.

N: Yes, the Pride of Ringwood hops are there, enough said. Not as pungent as I recall when I've had this beer previously though.

T: Watery but with a weird bitterness that is initially OK until it turns into rotting vegetable matter.

M: Thin and watery. Obviously if it's watery it's easy to sell lots of in pubs.

In all honesty, more drinkable than I expected but that's all I can say really. Also, it's definitely not a true bitter. I wonder whether this beer has changed since it was first brewed.

tobeerornottobe, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of maddux91
1.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Taken from tasting on 03/12/2009.

Had this on-tap at my local pub. Along with the other 30 or so 40year-old blue collar workers there.

A - Not too bad. Has the colour of brass, quickly fading white head. No lacing what-so-ever.

S - Jesus Christ! I need a close-peg to block my nose, this beer reeks of chemicals, smells like something died in there.

T - Bad. Bad Bad. Couldn't even finish my mouthful.

M - Bad once again. For the brief second I had this in my mouth.

D - Maybe if you are a 40year-old bogan, who has no idea what a real beer is. Hot day, perhaps.

This is by far the worst beer I have ever had, even shitty beers like Carlton Draught are better than this. It really annoys me to see all these people who are so indoctrinated on this being a true Aussie beer, and refusing to try something actually worth calling a beer.

maddux91, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Sammy
2/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Sammy, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of TheHammer
1.75/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured with a huge three fingers of head, but it quickly went south. It does produce decent lacing but the body shows next to no signs of carbonation. Color is a bit dark brass.

Smell: Not much to say, even after warming the slight smell of earthy hops and a strange funk is all that is brought to the table. It's not offensive enough to earn a 1, but there isn't anything here I can say I approve of.

Taste: It tastes like sweat and earthy hops. The beer starts out with a salty poorly roasted malt and then turns into an undesirable salty funk that gets drawn into earthy hops, that thankfully end the experience by making your mouth taste like wet dirt. I'm not going to give it a 1 as I can still drink it down, and it's subdued enough to not make me drain pour it, but it certainly leaves something to be desired.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is low as you drink it and is completely gone at the half way point. I really have to give it to the hops, as they are the only nice transition and make up the majority of the of the aftertaste, but even they can quite shake the underlying taste of sweat.

Drinkability: Remember how I said the carbonation is abset. Well it seems to only make it's presence known, after it's in your gut. I normally need to put two beers back before I can belch that loudly. Fairly light and somewhat refreshing but far too gassy.

Final Thoughts: The beer makes you belch, simply put and while some people might find that humorous, it's not exactly the effect I'm looking for in a beer. There is very little here worthwhile and it seems to get worse as you drink it down. It got drain poured at the half way point, so you will want to avoid.

TheHammer, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
2.42/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml Can poured into a pint glass

A - small white fizzy head, head dissipates quickly. Golden yellow

S - light smell.. nothing much to report, smells like beer

T - Has a very crisp dry taste, not sure why but it reminds me of a dry white wine to some extent. A little on watery side. Also hints of corn syrup

M - highly carbonated, lots of small bubbles.. but it disappears quickly. Beer seemed to be getting flatter as my drinking progressed

D - dry aftertaste

spinrsx, Jul 18, 2010
Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.