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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 CrazyMike
2.77/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow apperance with little head that disapears quickly. Smell is hard to pick up, there is some grain and sweetness.

Taste is similar to the smell, sweet and grainy. There is a lingering maltiness to it. Body is light, but clean and creamy, with light carbonation. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.

Overall, really mediocre but it is refreshing. The bottle alone is a reason to get this, but it is like any other adjunct lager.

 432 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a pale straw yellow color. One and a half figner head shows poor retention. Light streak of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweetness off the bat with a hint of cereal grains. Nothing else really...although the flavor for what it is is very clean.

T- Sweetness that was in the aroma is coming off as the first taste in the beer. There is some light cereal grains that comes and goes rather quickly before giving way to light alcohol bite. Plain and simple this beer's flavor just is average at best with no off flavors.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high for the beer I think but typical for the style. Sweet corn notes left on the palate. Aftertaste is a sweet alcohol and that seems about it and nothing else. No off flavors at all and actually for what it is very clean. Light drying on the palate from alcohol.

D- With this beer not being full of off flavors like a lot of adjunct lagers it makes it very drinkable. Refreshing? Well that might be pushing it. Although I really did like this beer for what it was I wouldn't drink a sixer although if it were hot outside I think I might.

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Photo of cudmud
2.83/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The color is an extreme pale yellow. I don't think that I've ever seen a beer this pale. There is little head and almost no lace.

Smell: These is almost no smell. If I was blind, I don't think that I would ID this as beer from its smell.

Taste: There is almost no flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thin.

Drinkability: You can drink it. It's not a bad beer as far as taste and smell go. That's to say it doesn't taste or smell bad. It's as if someone wanted to make a beer with no flavor or smell. It that's the intent, this brew is a smashing success.

They did go all out with a cool bottle.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.18/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An awesome bottle plus an Estonian beer... what's to complain about?

pours a typical lager-ish mellow yellow hue, crystal clear with a surprisingly decent head with fair retention. minimal lacing.

aroma is typical adjunct lager. pale malt, a hint of earthy eastern european hops, maybe a smidgen of vegginess. smells like crackers.

taste follows aroma. clean, simple light malt profile. hints of hops... a few more and this could be impressive... but it's a clean and refreshing malt profile. I've had much worse.

Mouth is clean, crisp, and just a touch creamy. ample carbonation keeps it light and clean.

All in all, as far as Amer. Adj. Lagers go, this one is really not all that bad. seems a bit cleaner than many. Not a beer I'd really crave, and it's not exactly cheap... but it's certainly not the worst. And by far the best Estonian brew I've had.

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

I mainly grabbed this simply because Estonia's finest comes in one of the most unique bottles I've ever seen. The beer itself is OK, but nothing to write home about.

A: Brilliant straw with very active carbonation. A dense pillow of white foam sticks the whole way down the glass and leaves bits of lace.

S: Very light. Straw, plus cut grass and that's pretty much it. Maybe a hint of mustiness.

T: Like the aroma, the flavor is very light. Dry straw makes up the bulk of the flavor. Bitterness is very light and generally flavorless. There's a hint of metal toward the end. Finishes extremely clean.

M: The light body is quite dry and has about the right amount of fizz.

D: Perfectly inoffensive and easy to down. There's nothing here that makes this beer stand out from the crowd, which might be the point.

 813 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Funky, 8-sided pyramidal bottle, like something out of Star Trek or Star Wars, with the actual brewery and beer name (A. Le Coq) embossed near the base, and a much less interesting paper label on the neck, obviously slapped on for overseas treatment.

This beer pours a clear pale straw colour, with a half finger of blink-and-you-miss-it fizzy white head, which is just as spare in its lace rendering. It smells of sweet corn malt, and farmer's field grassiness - wet hay and weeds. The taste is mildly sweet adjunct grains, some buttery alcohol, and grassy, weedy hops. The carbonation is pretty sedate, the body light, buy not overly so, with nothing else of note. It finishes off-dry, warm, and more-or-less clean.

As neat as the bottles is, the beer runs in entirely the opposite direction. Bland, inoffensive, I suppose, and just not worth the novelty.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.67/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A pale, straw color with a hint of orange. Very clear, looks watery. Big white head, didn't stay long, little collar of lace throughout drinking.

S - Sweet grain malts, corn syrup. Actually that's about it.

T - Taste is in line with the smell. This is a pretty sweet, light tasting beer. Malts dominate, if something can be said to do that in such a watered down beer. Not much else.

M - Light, watery, not tons of carbonation.

D - It's fairly refreshing, although some hop bitterness would make it an easy summer thirst quencher. Not offensive, just not real good. Really just bought it for the kickass bottle, which the girlfriend wants to use as a vase. At two bucks, the beer (that rare Estonia tick) seemed like a bonus.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

Malt from Lithuania and hops from the Czech Republic, though the nontraditional-shaped bottle is really trying to set itself apart from the rest of the lagers out there. Pale yellow color and a lesser head than what a lager should have. Not much in the nose other than some dried grassiness from the grain. Massive crispness puts some force on the palate; refreshing. Watery malt body does not have much depth, though stays very clean. Hops are lemony and spicy with enough bitterness to get by. Bone-dry finish that has a virtually immaculate aftertaste.

What it is missing in complex nuances, it makes up for it by being really refreshing. Still, a no-frills lager.

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Photo of janubio
2.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

300 ml. bottle. Very clean and pale yellow colour, with a head that doesn't hold.The only remarkabler thing about the smell is that it makes you think it has more alcohol than it has, besides that, just grain and hops. Light body, I think I find some apple in mouth, but nothing more. Normal dull beer, but it comes in a nice bottle.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.85/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a strange)
A- This beer pours a pale yellow crystal clear body with a foamy white head that has a slight yellow hue to it. There is a sea of bubbles but that is not enough to keep the head alive for more than a sip.
S- The slightly sweet sulfury hint of an aroma has a faint field corn note when it opens up but it is still very clean and devoid of good or bad aromas.
T- The very faint sweetness fades to a carbonic acid bite in the finish. The aftertaste is also light wit a slight pungent note that is pretty nondescript. There is a dryness in the finish aswell.
M- The light mouthfeel has a big fizzy finish that scrubs the palate of any flavor that might exist.
D- The aroma was stronger than the taste but there is realy nothing to either of them good or bad. It was a bit like drinking carbonated water.

 826 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
2.13/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

After a Coors, this one. Such a bad night...

A: I would give 2.5 to the bottle. Nice format. The beer itself is not impressive. Pale yellow, very clear. Pours a medium aired white head which dissipates quiclky leaving very few lacings
S: Smells grains, basically. A bit of yeasts and a little bit hops
T: Tasteless. Adjunct grains, basically. Light bitterness
M: Very light body. Watery. Fizzy carbonation
D: Well, it's refreshing because it's very watery but it does not worth the price paid in Switzerland since you can have a Budvar of Urquell by the same price in the same supermarket

 624 characters

Photo of megahurts4
2.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A Le Coq Viru

Appearance: Clear golden, medium head, ok lacing.

Smell: Alcohol, grains, slight malt.

Taste: Grains and semi-warm malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light.

Overall: Decent pilsner. Fairly balanced. It is very light and loses flavor toward the end of the bottle. At least it comes in an interesting bottle.

 315 characters

Photo of wedgie9
1.7/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Tasted from 10oz bottle purchased at Binny's Hyde Park. Pours pale yellow with a fizzy and short-lived head. Nose is pale malt with a just a hint of hops, banana and yeast. The nose is rather subdued. The flavors are even more subdued with just a little bit of malt and hops. The body is light and watery with very little carbonation. This is not a very good beer.

 364 characters

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

"Viru beer is sold in distinctive tall octahedral bottles. The design is a century old and originates from Russia. It is intended to resemble the medieval-era turrets found in Estonia. The name was changed when the beer was launched in Britain. In Estonia, it's known as A. Le Coq Premium Extra.

--random facts

Haystack gold with lemon juice accents. Few bubbles can be seen blipping up to a decent looking crown of sheep's wool white that lays down better than average lace in the end. Never have I seen a more attractive Estonian adjunct lager.

The nose is pretty much as expected: slightly sweet cereal grains and grassy-musky hops of the Saaz persuation. Not one bit of nastiness lays to rest any fears about freshness or poor quality ingredients.

Viru is pretty good beer considering its area of origin. It makes no major missteps and has the most popular lagers in this country beat by a country mile. Having said that, it still delivers nothing more than the bare bones where flavor is concerned.

What greets the taste buds is pretty much what greeted the nose. The beer is grain-like without being grainy. The grassy-musky-spicy hops give a slight edge to bitterness over sweetness and provide a fair amount of flavor. This is a solid version of the style in all respects.

The mouthfeel grabs the lowest rung of the average ladder as well. It never becomes watery, even on the finish, and is properly carbonated. That's pretty much what pale lagers need to do.

If it wasn't for the distinctive tall octahedral bottle, Viru probably wouldn't have found its way into my cart. If that's what it takes to sell more beer, more power to the brewery. Bottom line: too bad the contents of the bottle don't match the distinctiveness of the bottle itself.

 1,760 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.11/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale straw gold pour. Very clear. Medium carbonation. 1 finger head with no retention. Very cool bottle, though.

Straw and grass in the nose. Bit of honey sweetness.

Clean hit, with a fairly strong malt presence. Dry and somewhat sweet. Decent, but nothing special.

Feel is a bit heavy for the style.

Decent summer quenched and the shape of the bottle might draw you in.

 374 characters

Photo of LairdChisholm
2.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden color. A small white head fizzles out immediately. Very small carbonation bubbles. No lacing here. Not much to look at.

S - Smells of straw and alcohol. Pretty much expected.

T - Slight yeast and grains. Doesn't taste bad but not good either.

M - Too light but it goes along with this style.

D - Easy to drink just like the style suggests but would be easier to drink if it tasted better.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.1/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass. Very unique bottle design. Like most others who reviewed this beer before me, I picked it up because of the bottle and I have never had a beer from Estonia before.

A: Very light corn-yellow body full of bubbles under a white head that slowly recedes. Nothing remarkable positively or negatively.

S: Nondescript crisp hops and basic malts. Smells clean.

T: Is this a rice beer? Very light flavor, with very minimal hints of corn and malts. Sort of toasty near the end, with some basic hop flavors in the middle. No major flaws to speak of, just very thin.

M: On the skinny side of mouthfeel in every way, but not over-carbonated as so many of these beers are.

D: Here is the shining positive aspect of this beer. HIGHLY drinkable as a liquid, but not especially tasty. If for some reason I decided to drink a large volume of tame beer I would choose this over any of the American light lagers, if only because it would look decidedly badass to have ten or fifteen of these weird bottles laying around my apartment the next day when I woke up.

 1,072 characters

Photo of Beejay
2.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Totally excited about this awesome looking bottle.

A: A light straw color with a nice white head. Crystal clear.

S: Slightly sweet, slightly malty, but really there is not a whole lot to the smell. It seems like there is even less here than usual in this type of beer.

T: Taste follows the scent. Very Light, some mild malt and a bit of residual sweetness. No hops, and fairly watery. There is something subtle in the very back that I can't identify...

M: Light and semi watery. Fairly high carbonation. Par for the course.

D: Cool bottle, but the bottle is better than the beer. This is your basic american lager, but without the distinct flavor that many others can achieve.

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Photo of daliandragon
2.58/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Yes, I mostly bought this for the bottle as well. The fact that it was from Estonia was just a bonus. Sam's Blue Light has a great beer selection and always has something different.

Medium golden color and exceedingly clear body make it look a little boring and the nose is a sweet but uneventful. Seems like a basic eurolager.

Crisp and refreshing... low on flavor... thin but balanced... a little sweet... medium malts... like every single other blah eurolager. The bottle is still strong.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

I admit it, I picked this beer up because of the unique bottle. That being said, it pours a clear jaundice topped by a cute finger of bright white foam. The nose comprises light wheat, light corn syrup, and miscellaneous vegetable matter (kinda like sniffing a used in-sink disposal after cleaning a salad bowl). The taste does away with the veggies (thankfully), leaving some watered-down corn syrup, wheat, rice, and a slightly metallic wannabe-bitterness. The body is light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. I've had many better from this particular Baltic state. Nice bottle, though.

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Photo of Brenden
3.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interestingly, this is the first beer I've bought since I arrived for vacation in Asheville. I got this one at Greenlife.

I was surprised by the appearance. A white head formed over this pale yellow brew and, while it seemed soft, it had some staying power and even left a little lacing behind.
The aroma is light malts and grains with a faint vegetable note. Nothing really to speak of, but not offensive.
The taste is straightforward, pretty similar but with a light malt sweetness to it and an herbal finish.
This beer was pretty smooth actually, though not as crisp as a typical adjunct. In many ways, this reminded me more of a Euro Pale than an adjunct. Just a side note.
This one really isn't undrinkable, and it went pretty well with the pasta salad and spinach cake I was eating on a hot afternoon.

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Photo of tempest
2.91/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was searching for Carolina beers at Chip's Wine and Beer in Kill Devil Hills, NC and found this. I figured I'd never has Estonian beer and gave it a shot. It's basically just another clean continental lager. The aroma has very mild vegetable off-notes, but otherwise it's a simple and refreshing beer. It's no big surprise, but Estonians can make a macro lager as well as any one else.

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Photo of FreshHawk
2.35/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear, dull straw yellow color with a small, bubbly white head that disappears almost instantly with no lacing left behind.

S - Smells like slightly off grain and husks. Just a hint of corn/adjunct smell toward the end.

T - Pretty close to the smell. It has a slightly off grain and husk taste with a bit of a metallic aspect to it. Somewhat sweet malt taste comes out with it tasting slightly like corn, but not extremely adjunct/corn tasting. Very faint hop bite mid sip that fades fast.

M - Light body with a bit below average carbonation for the style. It has a little zesty/bubbly feel but is mostly just watery.

D - Similar to a number of mass produced and easy to drink beers. Taste has a slight off/different taste that can make it a bit more interesting to drink, but not enough for me to really want to drink it.

Notes: Pretty much a typical mass produced, easy to drink, low on flavor kind of beer just in a neat looking bottle and from Estonia. Had a slightly off and metallic taste that wasn't necessarily good or bad, just different. Not really worth seeking out, unless you want to try a beer from Estonia or want the bottle.

 1,149 characters

Photo of brownbeer
1.97/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This came in a cool octagonal shaped bottle and is from Estonia so I went for it.

It pours a sickly transparent yellow reminiscent of malnurished urine. Almost clear.

The aroma and taste are of lightly skunked water and has a true corn husk thing going on.

This is pretty bad, not worth looking at, buying, or drinking. Try again Estonia.

 341 characters

Photo of CWiggins
2.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sample bottle provided by a local representative of the importer. Yes, the bottle is unusual; it will make a great addition to my homebrew bottle set!

Pours a clear golden color with a white, soda-like head that dissipated really quickly. The nose is mostly absent, but there is a faint grainy, buttery character way back there somewhere. There's not much in the way of flavor--that's probably the point--but there is a subtle hint of hay-like malt in the center, just past the subtle hint of sweetness at the front. It doesn't have much body; it drinks like water. Surprisingly, this comes in a 10oz bottle; one could drink gallons of this without any trouble! Drinkable? Heck yeah! Interesting? Heck no!

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