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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

284 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 284
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 2.4
pDev: 32.5%
Wants: 11
Gots: 22 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 284 | Reviews: 142
Photo of biegaman
1.35/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It's a funny thing that this looks alright because, otherwise, VB has about as much appeal as an STD. Its spotless clarity and deep tone of gold do not personify the beer's nauseating and raunchy character, I can assure you. Likewise, its white head may look pristine but the industrially-produced, chemical-filled, adjunct-ridden beer beneath it is anything but.

"Vic Bitter" has forever marketed itself as an unpretentious, blue-collar, working man's beer and, indeed, it smells like a big, sweaty fat man would after a long day's work under a hot sun. Even dripping with perspiration, dehydrated, exhausted from a full day of outdoor labour I doubt I could drink this. This is so bad it could turn even raccoons away.

VB is affectionately known as "Vitamin B", ironic considering the beer is evidently deficient of malt. It is full, rather, of industrial adjuncts and chemical fillers, the smell of which is as repulsive as (and conjures to mind) green mold. And, truth be told, I'd just as soon take my chances with that than risk finishing this; I think a Tetanus shot might be a good idea.

It is foul and off-putting and far from refreshing. The rawness and unpleasantness of its taste, which is like corn syrup gone bad, is heinously cloying and wickedly wretched on the palate. The fact that it's gone easy on the bubbles only makes things worse; this horrid flavour just sits on the tongue like a filthy pigeon stooped on a ledge. This may have alcohol in it but, believe me, it's a uniquely sobering experience...

I'm told that the Aussies joke that VB stands for "Vomit Bomb", "Vaginal Backwash" or 'Very Bad', none of which come close to accurately portraying the horribleness that is this monstrosity of a beer (but, if I had to chose, I'd say that "Vomit Bomb" probably comes the closest). Normally beer is, as the saying goes, proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - VB would suggest He hates us and wants us to be miserable.

Photo of vacax
2.95/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL brown bottle with a twist off cap. The pour is gold with a good couple fingers of foamy white head. Retention is moderate, a few big bubbles make it look a bit soapy, but looks like a nice brew. The aroma is fairly sweet on the malt side with a somewhat prevalent corn scent.

Clean malt flavor initially makes for a very pleasant ingress, pleasant bitterness on the midpalate along with corn that carries through into the finish. Big chlorine / chemical taste on the finish also, but pretty crisp. Better than a lot of American adjunct lagers actually, despite multiple flaws. Light body, moderate to high carbonation, I like that it isn't too bubbly. More drinkable than the average adjunct lager.

Photo of pootz
2.31/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Can sampled cold and sipped as it warmed to 50DegF

Poured a clear gold liquid in the glass, must give a hard pour to get a 1 finger rocky cap, even that vanishes quickly and laces weakly.

Aroma is faint but as it warms you get cane sugar sweetness, some hop grassiness..overall smells like sweet wet cardboard...totally over processed sterile extract brew smell.

Weak thin body, virtually no lager character.

Sweetish with weak husk-graininess and a whack of rough phenolic-sulfury-acidic green beer tastes, watery weak finish some hop after taste from POringwood hops (extract?).

Overall a cheap, over processed adjunct laden beverage that approximates beer flavor. I'm told 'VB' stand for 'vomiting bogans' in Oz vernacular...seems like the demographic this weak green piss would appeal to.

Photo of philphilphil
1.83/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

bad. Australia being home to the worst beers and the most famous usually being on the lesser end, this beer tastes worse than piss.
A - light unintresting.
S - CUB crap coming though.
T - cheap soda water with bad vodka mixed. Awful.
M -thin, nasty.
D - low. And seriously overpriced, same price as far better beers.
thankgod it was free, wouldnt take it again.

Photo of andrenaline
2.65/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a light golden brown with a very thin layer of head which dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - Very light scent, mostly bready and grassy in nature. The smell is reminiscent of Stella Artois.

T - Grassy malts and bitter on the finish. A bit of a sour lemon flavour present, though this is very mild.

M - Light, bubbly and smooth. Goes down easily, especially on a hot summer day.

D - Not really a memorable beer, but I would never turn one down if offered. It quenches your thirst, but the flavour is rather mild.

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 chaosmaster
1.67/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

this is an aussie version of budweiser but with a little bit, if you can tell the diffrerence, bitterness, but I had to pay a premium price for it. Not worth the money. Immediately rinse your mouth with budweiser or MGD if you happen to have one. I won't try it again.

Photo of BigBry
2.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Short brown, as pictured above. Not an Bitter or ESB as might be expected from the name/label.
Basic adjunct lager: yellow color, white foam that disappears before forming a head. Smell us a bit vegetal, with other sweetness from some unknown adjunct additives. Sourish grainy taste, a bit metalic aftertaste. Alcohol burn comes through at the end. Not much else to say, unfortunatly not really worth the 'import' price tag.

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

a: This was a pale golden color. It poured with a short lived fizzy head.

s: A little sweet grain and some generic bitterness.

t: Mirrors the smell, not much going on.

m: Fizzy and wet.

d: I had this beer in paradise (Wilson Island). It didn't help.

Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev +25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was given this by an actual Australian expat who says she paid way too much for a case just to get an authentic taste of home.

Pours thin and yellowish with a decent white head that falls to surprisingly strong lacing. The aroma is surprisingly robust, with a little honey and grain, like a strong adjunct lager. The flavor is decent as well, a little bready, sweet, a kiss of honey, and just the faintest flicker of hops. The mouthfeel is thin and there is just a hint of bitterness on the finish. Not too bad for what it is.

Photo of allboutbierge
1.6/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I tried this on a whim...and ended up disappointed.

Its a cheap golden adjunct lager...fizzy with boisterous, but short lived head. Lots of corn in there, not much rice. A mild crispness in the forefront, but has a rough grainy finish. Not much really to analyze. It was served cold and I guess served it's purpose. I should learn to have lesser expectations...I thought I was buying an actual Bitter mild.

Photo of istarilord
2.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured pale lagery yellow brown... my first Australian bitter. Too used to US ESB's which are a different breed entirely.

Light carbonation, malty/metallic taste. Not too much happening, but not overtly offensive flavor.

Easy enough to drink, but I would probably grab most of the other taps first. It was a free drink, so who am I to complain?

Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.49/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A: Light golden with a nice rather large white head that leaves nice lacings.

S: Almost not traceable, but I can sence citrus and alcohol.

T: Flat! But if I'm trying to find something positive - there is some malt.

M: Thin with no flavours - some carbonic acid.

D: Avoid! This must be for those who aren't into big malty or hoppy flavours. It quenches ones thirst, but that's about it.

Photo of jbro434
2.31/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I finally decided to shell out the 3 francs to buy this and I was hoping for a good showing. Pours a decent deep gold with small, bubbled head and just about zero lacing. The taste up front is grainy and light. I have a soft spot for Fosters and I was hoping for something close. This just fizzled in my mouth like a typical macro with no hint of anything other than grain and a quck dash of hops. Finished with mostly carbonation and a metalic twang that would only have me repeating this experience if I were out in the Outback on a hot and dusty day with nothing else available. If you have to go native, just hope it is so cold that you avoid the boring taste of this brew.

Photo of ADZA
1/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is a beer that you only order if your at some country pub on a hot summers day and this is the only fullstrength beer available for thousands of kilometres,not a nice beer at all smells like piss water with a mass produced background as like all these types of beers its well carbonated with no love or life inside its bottle,can or whatever way you get it i can assure you i dont have it,the only thing ill be remembering this beer for is its good adverts and catchy tune.

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

Once again, with the lack of variety of good beer in Australia,
I had a few VB on hot day after work. This piss looks like piss smells a bit like piss and taste like it. Unless its on tap and bloody cold It is to avoid. Its very low quality beer, the one homeless use to drink cause its a bit cheaper. but the taste is nothing pleasant
unless its bloody cold. not that bad but..you can get better.

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 melagnus
2.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Carbonation is very high, though doesn't seem to produce much of a head considering. Lacing comes by way of swirling the beer in the snifter, though it doesn't stick to the side like a more resiney IPA would. The head is one-finger-thick and dies down to a cm without much resistance. Straw in color, but does golden up a bit, so I would say the SRM is 4.
S - Diacetyl comes immediately to mind and overpowers most other smells via the buttery scent. Fruit esters do come through, though
T - Bitter-flat taste washes across the palate and finishes crisp. Malts are there, but hardly detectable. Adjunct grains were clearly used in brewing this beer!
M - Metallic comes to mind with a bit of creaminess; neither I would think would be a desired occurrence.
C - According to the ABV of 4.8%, it would fall into the classification of an ESB. It's possible they use spice in brewing this beer, but the nutty maltiness that's supposed to be there really isn't even detectable; it's an afterthought at best.

In closing, I cooked a Chicken Marinara-style dish with 6 oz. of this beer and then paired it with it and thought that it produced a very acceptable result. This could be utilized as a basic gateway beer from the standpoint of getting people to think beyond BMC products, but that's about it. I must say that the "wow factor" of trying an Australian beer got me the first time I tried it, but when I sat down with a critical mind that all "went out the window!"


P.S.: Upon re-reviewing and reading more into this beer, I realize that it isn't an actual Bitter at all, but more of an American Lager. I also realized upon looking more into it that the sweet aroma I was picking up probably has to do with them using corn in the brewing process, but I'm still not sure. I guess since the brewery is owned by Fosters Group it would make sense. The ABV would also fall into this category. I guess the name threw me :)

Photo of TubaManJack
1.35/5  rDev -43.8%
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.

Photo of Madigan
1.2/5  rDev -50%
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.

Photo of mulder1010
2.96/5  rDev +23.3%
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.

Photo of MisterSub
3.48/5  rDev +45%
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.

Photo of jera1350
1.73/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

Photo of froghop
2.2/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
58 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.