Saint André Vienna Lager | Saint André

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Saint André Vienna LagerSaint André Vienna Lager
26 Ratings
Saint André Vienna LagerSaint André Vienna Lager

Brewed by:
Saint André
Ontario, Canada

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Saint Andre is a Vienna style lager. A style first brewed in Vienna in the 1830's. The brand is brewed locally by the Cool Brewing Company with specialty malts imported from Belgium and Czech Saaz hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-05-2001

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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of Pmicdee
4.75/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is only available in select beer stores in my area, but I’m glad I decided to give it a try. Delicious.

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Photo of biegaman
4.16/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Le Select Bistro, in Toronto.

This majestic display of amber looks like some kind of precious gemstone (carnelian, to be exact) that must have taken mother nature millions of years to craft. It has a glittering, bewitching complexion that entrances the eyes like a hypnotic swirl. Clarity is above reproach despite a deep tone. Its head is both tinted and built like a brick.

These rich German (or should I say Vienna?) malts smell like the maltster toasted them just to the point of caramelization and then killed the heat. They don't have the sweetness to be equated with caramel or toffee, but they do have the same crystallizing, browning richness. Continuous wafts of sulfur suggest this is an especially fresh sample.

Saint André only brews this one beer, so you know they're not skimping out on using anything but the finest quality malts. As mentioned, this rich continental maltiness is characterized by a toasty richness that dries out before ever quite reaching the level we'd call "sweet" (partly because the rummaging of some bitter, earthy, Noble hops). Faint notes of raspberry are also imprinted onto the tongue, somehow.

A bolder-than-usual character for the style, this Vienna is (like many) extremely reminiscent of an Oktoberfest-style lager. Everything about it points to classic fall-time drinking to me. But my last pint of the stuff, guzzled after a long work day in gusty, early spring conditions, couldn't have hit the spot any better. Come to think of it, this is suited to any season.

I'm glad I waited so many years before reviewing Saint André Vienna Lager - I would have gotten it all wrong. Like many, it likely would have struck me as a casual, decent amber lager and nothing more. In actuality, it is not only a great standard of measure for the Vienna style, but is a ringing endorsement for the quaffability and integrity of those lagers.

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Photo of kwjd
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What. Pours a bright amber colour with a finger of off-white head. Little bit of lacing. Smells of strong sweet caramel without much else. Quite a malty flavour. This reminds me of a slightly better tasting Rickard's Red actually. Nice carbonation and and easy drinking lager, just a bit too sweet for my palate.

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Photo of kjyost
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer glass.

A: Clear deep reddish-brown, no lacing nor lasting head
S: Initially quite weak, mainly spicy hops but over time light caramelized sugar and smokiness came to the nose
T: Initially I was non-plussed, but there is a nice light bitterness and a bit of caramel in there. The sweetness takes a while to build and then lingers a bit, but is in no way cloying. Initially the beer was a 2.0 - 2.5, and likened it to Rickard's Red, but it really grew over time.
M: The major weakness here. The taste was off earlier I feel due to the watery nature and the lack of carbonation
D: An easy drinker, I could down a bunch of these. Not one I would search out, but if it was the craft offering in a bar I would be happy to drink it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer appears a clear, dark golden brown colour, with one finger of thin white head, which leaves no lace in its wake. It smells of malted barley, and sweet orchard fruit. The taste is fruity roasted malt, and not much else. The carbonation is on the high side, the body medium weight, and it finishes off-dry, the fruity malt persisting.

An adequate malty lager, that could use some crisping up via a more judicious application of hops.

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Photo of cratez
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange copper body with an off-white cap. Both smell and taste are carmel and munich malts, some grains, and caraway rye bread with a bit of sweetness. A slightly sour funkiness which I actually enjoy. Decent bite from the hops, sort of spicy, a little sharp, weird mix of bitter tartness in the finish. This beer is hopelessly undistinguished, but I can't say I dislike it. Drinkable, average, inoffensive lager.

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Photo of eat
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a trade with rudge75 over at Half Pints...thanks!

Pours a hazy amber. The head settles to some spotty patches of white. Some lacing.

Grain, yeast, malt, some caramel, a bit astringent. Doesn't smell bad, though a little generically uninteresting.

Tastes like grain, malt and some honey. This is one of the most generic tasting beers I've ever had. It isn't bad, it just doesn't stand out in any way whatsoever, bad or good.

Again, average and non-descript on the feel. Medium-thin body with moderate carbonation.

This is certainly drinkable but not a beer I would ever seek out. It's kind of hilarious actually, the only description present on the label is "beer" and that's pretty much exactly what it is. Beer and nothing more.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.64/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've passed over this beer for a long time, always letting the fact that it is contract brewed at Cool lead me to view this as more of a brand than a beer, but having tried the excellent versions of Mike Duggan #9 and Denison's Weissbier brewed at Cool I've gotten over that. Good beer is good beer no matter how it gets on a shelf.

What's more, I had a couple pints this summer on Le Sélect Bistro's patio on one of the few truly hot and humid days we had this summer and was surprised how wonderfully sessionable it is.

So when I saw a six pack in the walk in cooler of The Beer Store this week, I figured I'd give it a try in bottled form. And, say what you want, the packaging and label positively scream quality. If only more Ontario brewers put this much care into how their beer is packaged and perceieved by current and potential customers...

Anyway, cutting to the chase: Pours a nice copper color with a head that instantly disappears. I mean, there's not a speck of foam on the top of this beer. What a shame. Lots of beads of carbonation going on.

There's a slightly spicy saaz aroma, a slightly sweet malt, and some doughy breadiness.

As for the taste, at first blush what's most interesting to me is the combination of saaz and hallertau, admittedly probably two of my least favorite hops varieties, working together so well here. It's slightly floral and metallic, but subtly so. The malt is bready, toasty and lightly sweet. It's very well balanced.

It's well carbonated, crisp, and medium bodied. It refreshes nicely.

This was better on tap that it was from the bottle, but overall a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

6 pack from the LCBO. BB July 24 2009

Served from a 341 ml brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- Nice reddish amber color. Big crackling head diminishes in seconds with nothing to show.

S- Fairly malty with some caramel notes and a herbal touch.

T- Toasted malts, some caramel, slightly spicey with herbal undertones and a grassy finish. Fairly sweet in general. Hops are barely there but do level out the sweetness.

M- body is on the low side of medium. Slightly over-carbonated. Some what creamy mouthfeel.

D- Its drinkable...

Overall not really a stand example of the style, not bad, but not good either. Too sweet for me. Summer refresher.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not over keen on this beer. It is a red beer with good head and lace. It smells very floral but the taste is not as hoppy as the smell would lead you to believe. The taste is sweet and bread like at first but get bitter as you drink it. It has a medium and moderately carbonated.

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Photo of atomicbolt
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a six-pack of this, among other, for my birthday - thanks, dad! :)

Saint Andre's a pretty small brewery from what I can tell - hell, their e-mail address on the bottle isn't even registered to their own site, it's just a free Bell Sympatico account - but they seem to be running a classy operation. Cool, minimalist art design, and they focus on their one main beer - a Vienna lager.

Nice copper-red colour with a bit of fizzy off-white head. Some definite fruity sweetness to the smell, with some roasted caramel and herbal scents.

First taste impressions - fairly high amount of carbonation, thin texture. Malty biscuit and citrus tastes that recede into a bitter, herbal hoppiness. Not exactly smooth - there's a real bite in the aftertaste from the carbonation and bitterness. This beer almost has a split personality, when there's that bitter aftertaste still on your tongue it's hard to believe how fruity and sweet it is on the tongue when you take another swig.

Overall, I'd call it a nice, classy Vienna lager. Straightforward, crisp, full-bodied - although within the style, I'd still prefer Sam Adams.

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Photo of cyrenaica
2.5/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle
4.6% ABV

I tried this beer on January 18, 2008 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. The beer poured a translucent red with a thin white head which disappears quickly. The aroma is malty and grassy. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with low carbonation. The flavour was slightly sweet, a little malt, and a lot of grass!

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Photo of Antilochus
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single at a Kingston, Ontario LCBO.

Appearance is coppery red, with a nice sudsy off white head.

Aromas are plums (Slivovitz), roasted malt, herbs, caramelized sugar, cooked vegetable, spice, bit of alcohol. Biscuity maltness. Floral hops.

Bready sweet palate - not quite sugary, but not overly bitter. Carbonation and alcohol stings the mouth. Spicy hop finish, medium long.

Very dignified Vienna Lager and much better than I was expecting.

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Photo of bobsy
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I worked my way through a whole six-pack of this over the course of 5 hours at a party, so I can attest to it being a decent session beer that you can drink throughout an evening without being negatively affected. Poured into a plastic glass (yay!), this beer revealed a smooth full-sized head on top of a radiant copper body. Even in the crappy plasticware this looks the part. The aroma of well-balanced sweet malts it tinged with a touch of leafy hops. On first impression, this beer reveals itself to be eminently drinkable, if nothing special. The creaminess of the head provides a nice introduction to the breadiness and the biscuit flavours that follow. The sweetness of the malts is present, but in a muted fashion, and although the hops are there in the finish, they take a back seat throughout. Its fairly straightforward and drinkable, which is just what I expected and wanted from this beer.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear copper with a decent head.

S - A bit of a sweet malty aromas, some grainiess and a crisp herbal hop. Toasty grain and fruit as well.

T/M - Watery sort of mouthfeel with a hard carbonation. Buttery, fruity flavour with a dry toasty bitterness. A touch of astringency as well. Lasting impressions are dry and bitter. Not much to say about hop flavour though.

D - Moderately drinkable but not great

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.05/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Thanks to pootz for this beer.

Vigorous pour reveals a 1 1/2 inch head that recedes slowly. Medium carbonation holds up about 1/4 inch head and leaves some lacing. Reddish-orange colour, filtered. Mild spicy noble hop aroma, lightly floral, a bit of pepper, and some nice biscuity/crackery Vienna malt to back it up. Simple and clean and befitting the style.

Taste is fresh and clean with the floral sweetness coming out off the bat, and then a bit of earth. Malt is toasty and crackery, just lovely. A bit of tartness as an afterthought. Though not exceedingly complex, this is exactly what a Vienna lager should be: clean, straightforward, and drinkable. Mouthfeel is soft with a bit of dryness from the spicy hops, but mostly quite wet. Light-Medium body. This slides down like water and is very enjoyable at the same time. Good summer brew if you feel like something with just a bit more body. I wasn't expecting anything, but this one is a keeper.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
1.83/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This flawed beer pours browny red, quite hazy, with a wispy head and almost no lace. The aroma is thinnish malt with some sour and metallic notes. The taste is watery with a feeble malt structure and an inadaquate wisp of hops. The taste finishes very badly, with a distinct sour milk character and some harsh sweetness. It reminds me of a poorly homebrewed extract lager. The mouthfeel is syrupy and cloying.

This was a dissapointment. I hope my 6 pack was old. Ill try it again to see (someday).

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Photo of bigbubba
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is bright orange with a very thin head. It looks like a glass of Killians. The smell is faint, but not bad. There is some malty aroma, and the faint smell of hops. The taste is average, kind of watered down flavor. It has that bad microbrew flavor. The mouthfeel is not good. It is like water. This along with the weak flavor makes it useless to have another.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear copper/amber colour with a very long-lasting dense head of small white bubbles, which left a nice lace on the side of the glass. The aroma was composed of a malty/grainy character mixed with European hops and lager crispness. The flavour started with a sweet maltiness balanced with hop bitterness, but without a flavour contribution from the hops. Crisp and clean finish with a hint of toasted malt. Light body that feels a little thin until the moderate carbonation helps with the texture close to the finish. Overall, a pleasant, easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of Wintermute
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Biscuit coloured head of large bubbles that disappeared too quickly. No head remained by the end of the glass and no lace was left behind on the sides of the glass.
Coppery coloured beer with definite yellow/orange/red tones. Brilliant and clear.
The smell is malty sweet with faint caramel and toasted notes. The hops come through well in the aroma (European variety slightly spicy).
Almost a medium body but it seemed a little watery.
The beer is very well balanced. It starts malty sweet and then the hops come out. The finish is quite dry. As with the smell the taste has toasted and caramel notes. The hops are a nice European variety with spicy/peppery notes.
I must say I liked the beer better when it was brewed at F&M. It was one of my favourite lagers. It’s still a good beer though.

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Photo of pootz
2.95/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Less sweet and malt pronounced than I expect in a vienna. Poured a deep amber-orange from the bottle...white, rocky head that dissipated too fast to a small ring. Heavily carbonated...subdued nose ...sweet caramel malts and a wisp of mustiness. Starts sharp and peppery then the caorbonation subsides a bit and the body goes weakly silky where the malts are detected...not the malt wallop I expected or like in a Vienna....the malts are well pronounced but buried under long boil hops and the hops grab you in the they shouldn’t in this style....the finish is medium but bitter... not too dry but hop pronounced with a nice biscuity undertone and an un-needed metalic after taste. This is a vienna at heart but the malts have to come forward and the hops and carbonation have to sit back. Sadly, as much as I'd like to patronize a Canadian brewer, I'd rather take a Dos Equis over this bitter vienna.

Others have stated that this beer went through changes when it switched brewers....I can’t say, but I do think that this has the potential to be a good Vienna.. IF.. the carbonation was toned down and the malt presence cranked up a knotch....not bad but lacking...falls short of being a good example of the Vienna style.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in Brampton, Ontario, this Canadian lager was pleasantly complex. Made with Belgian malts, it was somewhat reminiscent of a Belgian ale. The color is a brownish amber that hinted of candy. The maltiness was sweet and spicey with a lingering nutty-roastiness. The aftertaste mixed with an evident hoppiness that I couldn't identify, but enjoyed nonetheless.
The bottle had a maroon and gray label and identified itself as a Bohemian Lager.

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Photo of TerryW
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Met up with this at the Toronto Beer Festival. It can be found in local LCBO stores as well, but does not have wide distribution.

Decent beer, pours orange red with a short head. Sweet malt and some hops in the nose. Same to taste. Nicely balanced. Slightly dty finish, gentle spiciness. Easy to drink. Quite a pleasant beer across the board and worth trying.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice Canadian beer to have about, eh?. Malty, and therefore popular among my friends. More noticeable malty flavour with breads and spicy food. Very easy drinkability. Two people can go through a six-pack no problem. Had the recent batch brewed at Brampton.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another quite decent lager/pilsner supplied by our beer loving neighbors to the north, as it spills gracefully from the bottle in to my Eggenberg lager/pilsner glass, a crystal clear copper to bruin color, the head large and bubbly, the color a nice tan with the resultant lace a fine covering for the glass. Large malt nose that is maple syrup sweet, pleasant and sniffable, start is rich in malt, sweet with a mild to moderate feel at the top. Finish is prickly in its acidity, hops are apropos to the style, and the aftertaste dry, a nice drinkable beer for these hot desert afternoons.

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Saint André Vienna Lager from Saint André
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 26 ratings