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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.

265 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 2.37
pDev: 32.07%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | 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: 265 | Reviews: 135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TubaManJack
1.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow finally I am "privileged" to try this brew on tap after hearing my dad talk it up that was Mistake #1. Mistake #2 was receiving an 20oz pint.

Apparance- The lightest shade of gold and poorest excuse of a head. Its really carbonation.
Smell- Generic Lager with tinges of metallic aluminum and the lines aren't contaminated.
Taste- Watery, Metallic, and Slick. The bitterness comes from out of nowhere to punish your tongue. Its akin to drinking a light iced beer, yes think back to those college days. I would have left a lone soldier, but I had to chug the last 10oz. at the bar before "that Yank left"

Avoid for your own sake and only consume this Adjuct Lager when it is explicitly handed to you by a local. Simply chalk it up as a cultural experience. I understand why people love the things they grow up with but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

TubaManJack, May 03, 2009
Photo of Madigan
1.18/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I tried this on tap at the 'Great' Irish Beer Festival in Galway. Actually, the festival was pretty far from great and one of the reasons I tried VB was because it was one of the few draught beers on offer. My younger sister, who lived in Australia for a while, had warned me about this stuff some time before but I just thought 'what does she know about beer?' and ordered a pint of it. Jesus, this is a terrible brew. I've had many bland, watery, insipid lagers in my time but never one that was so actively unpleasant. It poured a pissy yellow colour, had no head, and while it didn't smell of anything much in particular it had a harsh metallic taste that just got stronger the more I consumed. I took three large mouthfuls and poured it down the nearest drain. A dire drinking experience, VB is most definitely one to avoid.

Madigan, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of mulder1010
3/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not going to throw this beer under the bus. Is it great? NO. Last guy had it almost right as the MGD of Australia, with just a little bitterness or lemon in it. Kind of a copperish color with some of a lemon smell. Honestly this beer is only good when it is really ( I mean really) cold. Then it goes down well. If warm it is total crap. A cold VB is Ok. nothing great but Ok.

mulder1010, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of MisterSub
3.53/5  rDev +48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now that a few years have passed and my beer tastes have changed, I think I can understand all of the bad reviews of VB.

That being said, I think they're generally over-critical. In the end for me, all the scores should be just for info and the drinkability score should weigh about 90%.

Based on that, I think VB is a decent beer.

It's appearance is nothing special nor its smell.

I don't know if it was my altered state of mind on my honeymoon, but I thought it tasted great. Maybe because it was always about 85 degrees and the beer was ice cold. Maybe because I was so happy watching an Aussie football game. Maybe because I was enjoying being on a GB Reef cruise or on the beach. Whatever it was, I thought it tasted pretty good, had a great mouthfeel and was very, very drinkable.

With that in mind, it's nothing like the microbrews and well-crafted macrobrews that I now enjoy and deserves to be put in the "C" range overall.

I view it as the MGD of Australia but a little more drinkable.

MisterSub, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of jera1350
1.7/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A friend of mine was in CA recently and picked some of this up as you can't seem to get it in any or many other states.

A- pale yellow, white sudsy head, some lacing.

S- typical macro brew smell- grainy, ricey and some alcohol, that's about it.

T- watery, bland- cheap grain flavor with bitter aftertaste, slight lemon taste. Not good- think Bud/Miller light here.

M- extremely thin- watery, little carbonation.

D- no clue why anyone would want to drink this, but you could have them all night because it's not filling, but also not tasty.

I will never drink this again as it reminds me of a Bud/Miller light, etc. beer. I have to go dump the rest down the drain now.

jera1350, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of froghop
2.23/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a clear pale orange-yellow with a small white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, some corn, and some sweet malts.

taste is light, corn, grain, light malts, a few hops, ends just slightly bitter.

overall a fine beer when you havent had any for a little while, but rather bland in the finish.

froghop, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of Macca
2.6/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It looks ok when poured. A large loosely packed head sits over a light amber body. Significant lacing.

Some sweetness on the nose. A bit of grain.

Oh and the taste. When I was in my early 20s and VB started to get popular in Qld we thought it tasted so much better than XXXX. It gives you an idea of just how bloody awful XXXX is. Grainy, metallic, yuk. Does CUB brew to more than one recipe for any of its beers? Very unpleasant aftertaste.

Despite everything about this beer I still find that it goes down a treat given the right barbie/cricket game/music festival. Go figure.

Macca, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of xduderx
2.23/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

All my Aussie friends really talked this beer up, so when I saw it on the plane on my way to Australia I had to try it. Ick! This stuff is worse than PBR.

A = Terribly average. Piss yellow with little to no head.

S = Slight sweet smell but that's about it.

T = Metallic, watery, and astringent. Not good. I'm glad I downed this before it got warm!

M = Thin and fizzy.

D = I'm guessing this beer is hangover city. I wouldn't know because I stopped after one.

xduderx, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
1.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Brown 375ml bottle, one of a six pack bought at a local cut-price store. I visited Oz a few years ago and was given this to drink, I am seeing if it is a crap as I remember!

Poured into one of my Duvel glasses, it is the second lager of the evening (on my drinking lager from around the world night).

Looked like a lager, golden, clear, etc, etc. The white head didn't stay long.

Fairly sweet aroma, but otherwise nothing, gets my standard 3 for lager smell.

Oh dear, there is no taste at all, it is as bad as I thought. Metallic and watery, this is a nasty beer. The other five in the pack will be going to my daughters house, her man drinks crap stuff.

It made me burp, just a fizzy liquid, avoid like the plague!

BlackHaddock, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of Mebuzzard
3/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at a Harry's bar in Singapore watching the Grand Finals of Australian rugby.
Served chilled. But no glass. Drank out of the bottle.
Nothing really outstanding about this beer. Bitter? not really, but I'm a hop head. For and American Macro, this has a bit of taste to it.
Rice or some stale grain is present. Clean drinking, though. I didn't like the shape of the bottle, didn't drink smoothly; or maybe it's just me.
would have another if I didn't see an Irish pub across the street.

Mebuzzard, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of WHROO
1.63/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a typical lager...golden straw colour, with a decent head. Thats about the only thing right about this beer.

Aroma is something that really gets up my nose, literally. Very metallic watery bitterness - eeewww...no nice malty aroma's - nothing.

Taste - ditto...very average, & drink it before it warms up because it only get worse. Just too tinny & watery. Some lingering bitterness, but nothing complimentary.

Mouthfeel - is definately alive due to high carbonation..but a little too soft-drinky for me.

Overall, a typical aussie run of the mill staple beer that would appeal to any beer drinker that wants to choose 1 beer for life that is affordable & can be drunk all day due to its lack of complexity. Grew up with CUB beers in the house & I thank god I dared to try other styles because this stuff nearly put me off beer for life!!! no joking either!!!

WHROO, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of atis
1.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice golden straw colour, unfortunately head almost nonexistent. Quite sweet aroma, but very faint.

I was expecting something bitter, but could not feel it. I would say it was quite tasteless, kind of coloured water. At least the carbonation is good.

Anyway, there are worse beers out there. But I would never buy this one again.

atis, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of Danimal
4.83/5  rDev +103.8%
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.

Danimal, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of rye726
1.2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't have much good to say about this beer. Color is straw yellow with a foamy white head. Tastes of old and moldy ingredients. It is way too fizzy and has anawful after taste. Best for cooking or giving out to transit campers. And it does not even work well for that.

rye726, May 07, 2008
Photo of OStrungT
3.83/5  rDev +61.6%
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.

OStrungT, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
1.02/5  rDev -57%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a thick frothy cushion of purely white head. Masses and masses of swirling carbonation. Beer shouldn't fizz that much, it'll have me farting my arse off. The beer is the most dull, uninspiring colour. Bo-o-o-o-o-ring.

Nose is almost foul, but the foul smell is completely weak, dulled and absent. I know beers are meant to have smell, because I've smelled them, so this is bad. But it's worse because whatever smell is there is quite horrible on its own.

Taste is horrible and flavourless. It tastes like dirt dissolved in water and then filtered many times to get the flavour out. The taste is terrible but the flavour is so weak you can't even taste the horrible taste, if that makes sense. Mouthfeel is sharp and drying and horrific. Like eating nails.

An abysmal, unconscionably bad drop of beer. Flavourless, horrible and harder to get down than a truck full of cement. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

laituegonflable, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
2.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: pours headless pale straw; sad

s: very little fragrance; i get just a teeny hint of sweet grain

t: honestly not as terrible as i thought it was going to be; a very dry raw grain flavor with a hint of spicy hoppiness and a sweet malty finish; still not impressive at all but ok for super shitty macro beer

m: pretty carbonated and watery

d: i do appreciate its unique bottle shape but it is not a beer i will try again

hoegaardenhero, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of CrazyMike
2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance is a pale golden yellow with decent head, smell sets of warning signals, very light and metallic. A hint of malt though.

Taste is very bitter and sour. Malt and lime is evident. Body is light and highly carbonated. After taste is extremely bitter and almost spicy.

Definitely not the greatest beer, the unbalanced mixture of tastes makes this mediocre at best.

CrazyMike, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
1.73/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this one way too often during my Peace Corps time in Tonga, where the beer options were fairly limited. Poured a light yellow piss color, very bubbly, no head. Probably best to just leave it in the bottle. Nose was skunky garbage, and they taste followed in kind. Really bitter, almost cloying, macro-lager standard crap. Feel was thin. Overall, bad, even when there's nothing else to drink.

soupyman10, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of jspruit
2.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bought this at O'Neills off-license here in Dublin and drank it on Australia Day, January 26th.

No pour as I drank it out of the 375ml bottle-I can't imagine that I missed much there though to be honest.

Doesn't really smell of much-a bit metallic, certainly not hoppy or malty or bitter at all.

Some carbonation and golden in color. Tastes mostly like any generic lager, American or Australian or European, and a bit of chemicals.

Mouthfeel is light, and goes down easy with little resistance. Not much of an aftertaste really. I could see how you could pound these all day, but I dont think that I'll be doing that anytime soon. I suppose that it is the equivalent of a lawnnmower beer in the states, perhaps something you drink ice cold on a hot summer day.

jspruit, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of THEMGG
1.05/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - This beer has golden, clear colour which is unfortunately deceptive to the flavour that lies beneath

S - The initial smell of Vic Bitter is like one of those stenches that you wake up with on your clothes after a big night on the lagers and realise you are lying in a pile of your own vomit and feces. A bitter metallic sting that digs into the nose with sharp claws. This is pub floor in a can.

T - After the horrifying initial smell, one is not really looking forward to sampling its taste, but if you force yourself, you will be rewarded with one of the worst tastes you can possibly pour into your mouth. Anyone with functioning tastebuds will recoil with disgust.

This beer is an insult to all living creatures.

Forget going within a 10m radius of this beer if it happens to rise above frozen temperature, this foul swill should tipped into a volcano.

M - Like licking a rusty bucket of nails. A sharp, disgusting mercury like feel pervades the pallet. The sickly flavour hangs on the tongue like burnt solder.

I curse this beer.

D - Hahahahahaha. After one sip of this swill, you will be tightening the rope for whoever handed it to you.

This is one the worst beers known to man (and the biggest seller in Australia, hahahhahhaa).

THEMGG, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of SargeC
3.8/5  rDev +60.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear yellow with moderate carbonation movement. Fizzy white head. The can presents a classic image.

Smell: Minor herbal and light malt aromas.

Taste: Interesting balance between malt and hops. Suits the climate well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad Australian brew. A great example of one of the nation’s other beers.

SargeC, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of LittleCreature
1.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - 2.5
Don't be fooled by the name - this is a lager, not a bitter! Pours a finger of fluffy, bubbly, barely off-white head that reduces quickly to a thin layer. The colour is a pale yellow that has a tinge of brown and looks to be highly carbonated.

Smell - 2.0
Remarkable, this smells entirely like beer! No skunk, which is good, but otherwise the aromas are limited to a slight malt/sugar sweetness, stale grains and a weak hoppy bitterness.

Taste - 1.5
Quite a strong flavour, with a lot more character than most macro lagers. Unfortunately, it isn't a great flavour by any means, starting with weak grains, stale bread, a slight sourness and ending quite dry with moderate hop bitterness. There is also a strong metallic taste that is prevalent throughout, especially in the finish. God this is awful.

Mouthfeel - 2.5
Hard to judge this against the terrible taste. Light to moderately weighted in the mouth with moderate carbonation. Still doesn't help it to go down easily.

Drinkability - 2.0
I have chugged back many of these in the past, as many at 18 in one day on one occasion (so it is sessionable for some). My tastebuds and liver now shudder at the thought of this, and I am struggling to get through one.

OVERALL - 2.05
This has always been one of my favourite beers for making shandys with, due to its strong flavour, which is improved by adding lemonade. However, on its own, this is currently the lowest score I have ever given a beer. I was actually a bit thirsty when I started it, but it was still hard to drink. I used to like this, it was once my session beer of choice, however hard it is to believe now. It's cheap, so if you like it, go ahead, just know that there is a whole world of beers out there that taste a WHOLE lot better.

LittleCreature, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of hunteraw
2.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle of this at Devil's Advocate in Wan Chai.

Appearance was yellow and fizzy, one-finger white head but with little retention and no lacing. Smell was light and unremarkable. Not surprised to see now that it's in fact a lager and not a bitter at all. Taste was along the same lines - lager, very light bitterness. Not horrible, but below average. Mouthfeel is light and fizzy, drinkability is below average - we were ready to switch bars. The "bitter" style is misleading enough already with breweries calling lagers "bitters."

hunteraw, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of brendan13
1.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Pale straw colour with lively carbonation and a small 1cm head. Unfortunantly I know this will be the highest rating.
S - Some faint fruit smells. Not much else going on.
T - The famous CUB lager metallic taste. Very slight sweet malt.
M - Like a crap beer flavoured water.
D - If you want to drink as cheaply as possible then this is your answer. Marketing is a wonderful thing:)

brendan13, Jun 10, 2007
Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.