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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.

273 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 2.38
pDev: 32.35%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | 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: 273 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allboutbierge
1.6/5  rDev -32.8%
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.

allboutbierge, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of istarilord
2.05/5  rDev -13.9%
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?

istarilord, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
1.48/5  rDev -37.8%
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.

Evil_Pidde, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of jbro434
2.28/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

jbro434, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of ADZA
1/5  rDev -58%
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.

ADZA, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of Otterburn
2.65/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Otterburn, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
2.05/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

biboergosum, May 21, 2009
Photo of melagnus
2.2/5  rDev -7.6%
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 :)

melagnus, May 21, 2009
Photo of TubaManJack
1.33/5  rDev -44.1%
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 -50.4%
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 +26.1%
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 +48.3%
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 -28.6%
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 -6.3%
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.

froghop, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of Macca
2.6/5  rDev +9.2%
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 -6.3%
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 -21%
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 +26.1%
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 -31.5%
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 -24.4%
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 +102.9%
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 -49.6%
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 +60.9%
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 -57.1%
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 -11.8%
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
Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
59 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.