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

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

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BA SCORE
59
awful

142 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 292
rAvg: 2.36
pDev: 32.63%
Wants: 11
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd. visit their website
Australia

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 292
Photo of Everydayoff
2.35/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle poured into a pint glass by freshness date.

L:
Pour a clear rather dark golden color with average white head but short retention. It fades into thin bubble film on the surface with wee lacing, medium visible carbonation.

S:
Adjunct cereal, grain, corn with hint of some dry malt.

T+M:
Dry grain with some malt trait also slight metallic, hop is mute. The body is medium with soothing carbonation, smooth. Finish is dry.

O:
Not all over bad but still could not consider as worthy. No go for serious drinker. (523 characters)

Photo of dansmcd
1.53/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Clear and pale straw coloured, for a second there is even a few bubbles that could possibly pass for a head. Or not.

S - Slight grass, lemon, bucketloads of chemicals.

T - Again, faint lemon and grass flavours absolutely assaulted by metallic foulness and horrible chemicals.

M - Water thin and highly carbonated.

O - Hells bells this is some downright terrible stuff. Such a shame that so many people, here and overseas, think of this stuff when you say Australian beer. (479 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.43/5  rDev +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A 375ml stubby bottle with a BB of Sept 2011 - so just out of date.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. (767 characters)

Photo of DocDownUnder
3.08/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, obviously this is not a craft beer. But in terms of its style, I would much rather drink this than Bud or Miller.
It's much sweeter and the cereal grains contribute more flavor, and the yeast doesn't steal the finish. There is a bit of a metallic taste instead of the yeast.
Average, but on a hot summer day or out in the bush you could certainly do worse. (361 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.29/5  rDev +39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can picked up from the LCBO, BB date June 2012. I am simultaneously impressed and confused as to how I have managed to avoid reviewing any Aussie beer until now.

Pours a deep golden colour, similar to a glass of apple juice, topped with a fizzy, white, two-finger head that is mostly gone within a minute. A thin, creamy cap remains on the surface, reinforced by the furious stream of bubbles from the bottom of the pint. Surprisingly decent lacing on the sides. The aroma is nothing special, just the typical corny/vegetal adjunct notes interspersed with grains and hay.

Taste is mostly sweet grainy malts, a bit bready with some underlying vegetal notes from the adjunct. A twinge of bitterness in the finish, definitely more than I would expect from an average AAL. Good carbonation; a little lower than average. Flavour gets a bit funky as it warms but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this probably isn't the type of brew to be gradually savoured. No trouble throwing this one back.

After glancing at the aggregate score of this, I was expecting a serious stinker but after tasting it I was a little perplexed and wondered if my tongue was broken. For an adjunct lager, there is nothing seriously out of place here in my opinion. I certainly have no intention of getting this again, but that's mostly price-related. The "bitter" in the name of this brew is pretty misleading, but in the future if I were looking for a bland lager to throw back socially this would be an acceptable choice. (1,519 characters)

Photo of aeolianshredhead
1.11/5  rDev -53%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Here it is: one of the main offenders to the Australian beer industry, VB itself. I do have fond memories of my friend and I stealing our respective father's supply of this and drinking them in the backyard when we were younger, but as a beer itself? How does it compare?

A- It has that extremely fake appearance sported by most Aussie macros. This is cheap and factory assembled. An aggressive pour gets a miniscule head, which vanishes but for a blotch on top. The carbonation loses its bite quickly as it becomes stagnant and tepid.

S- Judging a book by its cover works when smelling this beer. It smells as it looks: artificial. Basically, some kind of awful, out of place sweetness assaults my sense of smell. The worst part is, I really can't tell what is causing this scent. Is it malt? God no. Is it hops? I sincerely doubt that. Whatever it is, smells like it should definitely not be there.

T- To this beer's credit, it is very consistent from nose to palate. That is most certainly not a desirable thing, though. This tastes quite rank. That saccharin-esque sweetness is horribly discernable throughout and leaves a sickly feeling on your tongue. Also, it finishes with the dreaded and most feared of all things- POR. I prefer the taste of XXXX to this and believe me, that is saying something.

M- It's bloating, gassy, abrasive and watery. These are not good things, people. The fizziness just does not work here. This is a true pain to drink.

O- As I expected, VB is a disgrace to the great name of beer. People, if you want refreshment, go for a hefeweizen. (1,576 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
2.23/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Mild amber with decent head retention. Lots of grain in the taste & the smell and pretty poor overall really. Much like every other mass-market pale lager but with a strong bitter taste on the finish. Not a beer I'd recommend.

1001 Beers To Try Blog:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com (287 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
1.41/5  rDev -40.3%
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. (2,138 characters)

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 (285 characters)

Photo of Cawdog
2.23/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (569 characters)

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. (557 characters)

Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.84/5  rDev +20.3%
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!!!! (1,360 characters)

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. (798 characters)

Photo of korguy123
2.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of liamt07
1.97/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of kwjd
2.06/5  rDev -12.7%
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. (328 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
1.8/5  rDev -23.7%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of burnheartsMKE
1.36/5  rDev -42.4%
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! (486 characters)

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. (375 characters)

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

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

Smell:
Earthy, grassy smell which isn't strong

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
Light bodied, Pleasant medium carbonation.

Drinkability:
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. (672 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
1.96/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (832 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
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 (547 characters)

Photo of DrJay
2.35/5  rDev -0.4%
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. (285 characters)

Photo of Hashes
2.55/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (519 characters)

Photo of Viggo
2.18/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (609 characters)

Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
59 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.