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Viru | AS Tartu Õlletehas

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86 Reviews
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Brewed by:
AS Tartu Õlletehas

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Suds on 03-31-2006

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 152
Photo of wethorseblanket
2.56/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Unusual eight sided lighthouse bottle. 300ml, best before date of 7/30/14. Oh dear.

A: Pours a clear pale yellow with a solid one-finger thick white head which fades slowly and leaves semi-rings and splotches of lace.

N: Adjunt city - corny, estery yeast, herbal, grassy, faint lemon citrus.

T: Corn based, slightly metallic, yeasty, faint wheat and lemon.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Semi-dry and semi-bitter yeasty finish.

O: Basic Euro lager. A "premium" Estonian beer. Thank goodness it's premium, cause I don't what to try anything otherwise.

 562 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.68/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A 300ml bottle with a BB of July 2014. The bottle is an interesting octagonal cone shape. Acquired a while back from a supermarket. My gut feeling is that the bottle will turn out to be the best feature of this brew.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear pale-gold colour with good carbonation. Forms a small head of white foam that lasts for a minute or two before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of faint malt with hints of stewed leaves, overcooked veg and a twinge of DMS. Not particularly pleasant.

Tastes of ultra-light malt with a dry finish. Notes of cabbage/overdone veggies, stewed leaves, husks, a whisper of malt and faint corn. Well-attenuated, followed by a subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with spritzy carbonation and a thin, watery body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed veg/leaves and husky grain.

Bleh - a decidedly subpar lager. Looks pretty average, while the aroma and flavour are faint and beset with off-notes that detract from the experience. Lacklustre body. No great shakes; bland and unsatisfying. Do yourself a favour and give it a miss.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.4/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an IPA glass.

Look: Clear straw body, a white head recedes to nothing with no lacing.

Aroma: Faint malts, lots of dried grass, straw. And an honest boiled egg smell.

Taste: An almost lemongrassy beginning, citrus body, dry sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Watery and dry.

Overall: There is an overwhelming egg aroma and taste that ruins this brew.

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Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2.51/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I stumbled upon this Lithuanian beer at Roosevelt at 7, McAllen, Texas. One should note that the water in this beer is from one of the deepest wells in all of Europe. It pours crystal clear yellow, little head, and average carbonation. It tastes like well water, with hints of malt, corn, honey, and a sweetness, it has a metallic aftertaste, and is not filling. It comes in a unique bottle....

 394 characters

Photo of lilithdana
2.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

It is a refreshing drink, but with a little more intense than expected bitterness. Besides the wonderful bottle design, the content is poor. I think it is better to take it very cold, to not notice the flaws. The taste reminds me a lot of Corona or Budweiser. Nothing special.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

10oz, unique, octagonal shaped bottle. 3.23.14 on the cap. Does that mean best by, or bottled on? Anyway, poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint, for some reason.

Appearance: Pale yellow color that doesn't seem to be completely filtered. No head. No lacing. Really just looking like piss water.

Smell: Stale corn... not even that fake corn syrupy corn aroma, just smells stale and a bit dirty. Dank. Not pleasant, and quite frankly off-putting. These sorts of beers don't tend to smell GOOD, but this one almost comes off as flat out offensive.

Taste/feel: Thin with incredibly prickly carbonation is the very first thing I notice. I mean... prickly carbonation like a pop/soda kind of thing. The flavor, well... what flavor? A bit of that stale corn. Subtle sweetness. Wet cardboard, for sure. Adjuncts all over the place in this one. There's really no aftertaste, bitterness, or sweetness whatsoever that I can tell. This is just an incredibly poor beer, and quite frankly I'm surprised at the high ratings for this brew considering its style.

A novelty sort of thing is all this is. The bottle's neat, but the beer may honestly be worse than Bud Light in my opinion. Bud Light somehow has more flavor. This seriously might be the first time an adjunct lager sort of beer has actually let me down. I wish I waited a couple days to review this beer for April Fool's Day, because this beer is a joke.

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Photo of MarkoNm
2.08/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First of all, compliments on the bottles.
The content has a clear, golden color. The head is average with weak retention.
The usual malty aroma dominates the nose. Nothing special.
The taste is light, sweet and watery. No real bitterness present. Not even in the finish. Too bad. Still drinkable, but no real taste to it.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.07/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a light straw yellow with a thin film of white foam with decent retention. Typical adjunct aroma of sweet malt, grain and faint hops. Flavor is light biscuit malt with a slightly harsh grain, grassy hops, faint apple juice. Light bodied with active carbonation. A decent pale lager, with a little more flavor and hops than most adjunct ales, but also a little less smooth and sweet. A satisfactory light lager for drinking with lunch but fairly average. Cool bottle.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.14/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours to a thin white head and moderate lacing. Color is pale gold. Aroma is grainy, bready and slightly sour with a very faint hint of spicy noble hops. Flavor is typical for the style, clean, crisp, grainy, balanced with noble hops and light. Dry finish. Light mouthfeel with CO2 appropriate for the style. Overall, this is a good beer for the style, not too weird or offensive but not very remarkable either. I don't know why it is getting such bad reviews, it is not bad at all.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
2.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I found this at a bottle shop in North Royalton. The cap tells me I should drink this before "27.12.13."

It poured a half finger of nearly white head. Lace tries diligently to cling to the side of the bottle. A veritable army of bubbles marches up the body on this guy during consumption, and great head retention.

The smell is weak. Beat-up bready malt and hand-me-down grassy hops.

This one is slightly sweet on the beginning. Tastes a little adjuncty. Grassy hops with a light spice end it on a slightly dry note.

The mouthfeel is light bodied. It slides over the tongue easily enough.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.08/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

10.1 fl oz. bottle, with best before 27.12.13 printed on the cap. Found this bottle at a Binny's for something like $3.00. Premium beer from Estonia. Expectations are in the average range, considering the style and this beer's poor ratings on BeerAdvocate.

Poured into a Miller Lite pint glass.

A - Slightly aggressive pour on the finish conjures about two fingers of bone white sudsy head that fades away to a film quickly. Body is one of the clearest palest straw yellows I've ever seen.

S - Nose is comprised of dusty grainy malts, corn, hint of lemon, and wet cardboard.

T - Taste is of muted stale grains, malts, corn, hint of lemongrass, hint of cloves, metallic flavor, and wet cardboard.

M - Feel is coarse and dry, with a hint of bitterness & metal lingering.

Overall, this was a novelty beer that I mainly only bought because of the cool bottle. While it was cool to have the opportunity to try a "premium" Estonian beer, it would be cooler still if there were any redeeming qualities to the beer. Pretty inoffensive, but there really isn't any reason to seek this out more than once.

Viru ---2/5.

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Photo of flyingpig
2.07/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

300ml Bottle (The Cave, Glasgow):
Clear, light yellow, straw colour with not much in the way of a head. There is some fine, white lacing on top with a sort of bubbly look to it.

Very little in the way of an aroma, there is some dry, grassy hops and some malts with a touch of sweetness. Pretty basic and slight bit of citrus.

Sweet malts and dry, grassy hops taste that is very average and bland. There is a touch of citrus with some corn too.

Light bodied, slightly grainy and very dry with medium carbonation. Quite a thin and almost watery feel with touch of bitterness towards the end but not a lot.

Cheap tasting pale lager that is exactly what I had expected going in. The beer is inoffensive and fairly easy to drink although there is touches of grain and some skunk that are slightly off-putting.

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Photo of Olek4374
2.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I've had some great beers from Eastern Europe over the years (Obolon and Zywiec being the best for me), so I thought I'd give this a go. It pours a pale yellow colour with barely any head to note. Smells like nothing - very faint malts maybe. Taste is really malty with just a faint bit of hoppy aftertaste. The feel is very uninspiring - it's like Coors Light with maybe a little more malt and hops. It tastes like it's got some adjuncts in it, which whether it does or not, is generally a bad thing. Overall it's a very cool bottle but a very boring beer.

When taking the price into account, I'd rather just have a Kokanee than this.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A- I have to say that the bottle is one of the best shaped bottles I've ever come across so that will earn this brew some marks immediately. The liquid itself is a partially hazed yellow color...almost like cloudy urine. The head is kind of non existent unfortunately, with little present initially and even less after settling down. There seems to be a decent amount of carbonation and the lacing isn't much to notice either. The contents of this wonderful looking bottle are a real letdown...

S- Interesting to say the least....there is some sweet, fruity malt noticeable in behind the typical cheap lager aromas....grass, raw grain and corn adjunct....lots of corn adjunct. The fruit that I noticed was citrus like in nature, and at does add somewhat to the overall character. I don't really smell a strong hop profile, as I would have liked to expect for this 'Pilsener' style lager....oh well...

T- The flavors in general actually aren't bad at all....there is a distinct biscuit like flavor noted, that reminds me of fresh yeast, and has a buttery (diacetyl) flavor that seems a little out of place. There is quite a bit of sweet malt noted and unfortunately boiled corn water is also a flavor I taste on my palate. Slight apple fruit is noticeable in the middle and the finish doesn't have much of a bitter saaz hop flavor....rather more of a cloying sweetness that lingers.

M- I have to say that this is a smooth, creamy beer to drink....even with a cleansing type of bubbly goodness on the palate. The body of the beer is medium-thin, which surprised me somewhat for this style. Nothing overly bad within this category!

O- This is an easy drinking, reasonably smooth beer to drink, but it just doesn't deliver overall...it is still a cheap Euro lager, that while it does have a richer malt profile, it is still full of adjunct blah-ness. I don't think I'd go out of my way to buy this one again, but won't go so far as to say that is shouldn't be tried by anybody...just not the beer that the good people at Viru say it is, that's all!

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Photo of opalchemist
2.8/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured it into a tulip shaped white wine glass to assess the aromas.


Light straw golden. Thin and bubbly head - disappearing quite fast.


Light - floral hop, faint fresh brewery aromas [same smells you can sense, if a brewery near you is brewing fresh beer] - hay/grass - later on aromas are changing to almost offensive metallic.


Very light, almost like water; light hay aromas, very light hops bitterness.


Watery - carbonation similar to Badoit water.


Very short - even bitterness cannot prevail a couple of minutes.


What should I say, the bottle looks totally awesome. But the beer inside is just not delivering.
A perfect lady beer, for a beer garden - for ladies, who don't really like beer. It is inoffensive throughout - but also just fail to impress on any level.

 837 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
2.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold with a slight, quick head and lace.

From a pint glass, I discerned faint hops and sweet malt. Overall it was more grassy and faint.

The flavor of Viru is much akin to mineral water. There is a sweetish, faint apple flavor with a light, almost undistinguishable finish.

A medium body with lots of carbonation and no alcohol.

Easy to drinik and thirst quenching, though uninteresting. There is nothing offensive here and it did add to an enjoyable afternoon with friends.

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

300ml bottle

A- Really pale yellow, even for a pale lager. One finger head completely disappears in a couple of second

S- Pretty classic grainy smell with a nice amount of grassiness on the back of things. Maybe a slight citric note. Decent

T- Slightly crisp grainy malts, with some corn notes also showing up (slightly reminds of an american adjunct). Some light fruity hints (mostly lemon) show up on the tongue. Refreshing, herbal aftertaste. Again, decent

M- Light watery body, not as heavily carbonated as most pale lagers, just the right amount of pleasant crispness on the palate, a bit on the juicy side on the tongue

O- Not an impressive beer, but i'm finally tasting an industrial pale lager that feels natural. Highly drinkable and refreshing, it brings exactly what you would expect from the style

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Photo of stoutman
3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this one in Naples, Italy.. Pours a clear yellow with a small white head. Aroma is malty, cardboard with some grain. Taste is also sweet malty with some grain leading to an ultra lightly bitter but dry finish from the saaz? hops. Pretty ordinary and inoffensive but a GREAT OCTAHEDRAL BOTTLE!!

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Photo of rudzud
2.38/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased one of these cool looking bottles at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear straw hue with a fizzy one half a figner head that fades to leave a thin halo and light cloud in the middle.

S - Smell is heavily of corn and sweet malts.

T - Taste is very similar to the nose. Drinks more like an american adjunct. Lots of corn and malts. Not much else.

M - Mouthfeel is rather thin and watery. Nothing to it really.

O - Overall, this is quite the subpar beer. I would rather drink an american macro than another one of these.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.03/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The coolest brown bottle in Beerdom. Best before date is supposed to be on the cap, but none there.
Listed as an American Adjunct Lager on BA, but is really more of a German Pilsner with Saaz hops and Baltic malts.
It pours a very pale golden color with a 2" snow-white head and some sticky and trailing lace.
The aroma is mostly grassy malt and a lightly citrus and resinous hop. A mild smell of wild flowers is in the distance.
A taste of white crackers carries a very light dose of lime-like hops. A hint of herbs and an odd salinity in the aftertaste throws things off a bit.
This isn't a bad beer...Very very gulpable lager.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

300ml funky 10 sided triangular bottle poured into pint glass 1/1/12

A clear straw yellow with loads of tiny bubbles popping up from everywhere but only a short lived thin film of foam after an angry pour no lace

S sweet grains with some sour lemon, skunk and faint grassy hops

T a weird purple grape flavor to go with what I taste, not all that great

M fairly thin but with enough carbonation, bit of a skunky aftertaste

O pretty basic stuff with some off flavors I could live without

cool bottle but that's about it, I doubt I'd bother with this one again

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Photo of evlu1441
3.03/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In its lovely angular bottle, Viru is the only Estonian beer I have ever seen in Canada, and the only Estonian beer I've ever heard of. It's a tiny country, so you can't blame them for not having a whole lot of beers.

The beer has a medium straw colour with a decent amount of carbonation and a thin but nice-and-foamy head sitting on top.

The aroma is light and grainy, but also has a faint vanilla smell too. Interesting, if not especially great.

The taste is surprisingly multifaceted! It's very smooth and sweet towards the end, where ther vanilla notes come through nicely. There isn't much of a hop profile, but it is a very smooth and drinkable lager.

Overall, this is a better-than-average offering, and pretty good if it actually is an Adjunct lager.

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Photo of avalon07
2.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a clear consistency. There was almost no head to speak. No real lacing either.

S: A decidedly muted aroma of hops, malt and a grassy quality.

T: Tasted of hops, a little lemon, malt, and the grassiness. Not a whole lot going on with this one. Very thin and watery, without much character.

M: This is a beer in need of some carbonation, though it does have a decently crisp and dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is just another bland Euro lager that just happens to come in a cool-looking bottle.

 568 characters

Photo of keethrax
2.73/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

MGD imported in a fancy (and small) bottle.

Got this as a Christmas gift, no doubt due to the admittedly neat bottle.

Like your big brewery american beers there's not much *wrong* with this, but really not much right with it either. Which would be OK at the prices charged by the big and (relatively) local guys.

Appearance: Straw yellow, quickly dissipating head.

Smell: Almost nonexistant (which beats the frequent reports of skunked bottles)

Taste: MGD but a little sweeter.

Mouthfeel: Light and pleasantly fizzy.

EDIT: This one actually improved when served at what I would consider too warm for the style. As such, I've edited my ratings a bit.

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Photo of kevosbob
1.47/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Viru, also know as “A. Le Coq Premium Extra,” is an adjunct style lager brewed in Estonia. Viru is brewed by the Baltic Beer Company at the A. Le Coq brewery in Tartu. Introduced in the United States in December 2009, Viru is imported by C2 Imports, based in Denver, Colorado. Viru is probably most famously know for the distinctive octagonal pyramid shaped bottles intended to resemble the medieval-era turrets found in Estonia. At a 5% alcohol by volume this light beer is brewed with malted barley from Lithuania, water drawn from artesian wells at the brewery, and Saaz hops.

The color of this beer is a pleasant golden yellow that is slightly hazy. Personally, I enjoy this compared to the super filtered American style adjunct lagers. The head is foamy and white and lasts longer than expected for this style of beer. The nose of this beer is very slight but notes of cereal and musky hops can be picked up. Unfortunately, a copper or mineral aroma can be picked up to which may be intentional by using water from artesian wells

When drinking this beer it was maltier than expected with a mellow sweetness. It tastes like it smells with bread or cereal flavors and grassy, musky, spicy hops to add to the bitterness. The high carbonation makes the beer crisp on the tongue, but the beer has very few flavors to start with so the crispness doesn’t last long. The hops are mostly aroma based and there is no alcohol warmth, and even though it’s not a bad beer, it does seem to lack in quality and craftsmanship.

This is actually a pretty good summertime beer to accompany any hot day, but because of the price it really isn’t worth buying over other adjunct lagers. It would be great if it was sold in 30-rack quantities, but for $4+ for a 10 ounce bottle, this beer is not worth the price. The unique bottle is really the only thing that sells this beer and it’s too bad the beer doesn’t match the distinctive packaging. I would only suggest this beer for a die-hard fan of bohemian pilsners, and even then I hesitate.

My Beer Rating: 1.5

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Viru from AS Tartu Õlletehas
2.72 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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