Vienna Lager
Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Vienna LagerVienna Lager
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Vienna
Ranked #25
Ranked #33,753
3.76 | pDev: 12.5%
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
Very Good
Vienna LagerVienna Lager
Notes: Vienna-Style Lager.

This is our Ol’ Faithful. No, it’s not a geothermal phenomenon. It’s the beer everybody, including professional beer judges, just seems to dig. Maybe they like how it’s smooth, medium-bodied, and semi-sweet, while not too heavy or bitter. Maybe it’s the amber color, or the blend of four imported malts balanced by two Germanic hops, or the fact that it takes five weeks to get right. Or maybe it’s all the above.

Malts: Vienna, Pilsner, Dark Munich, CaraAmber
Hops: Northern Brewer, Saaz
IBU: 18
COLOR: Amber
Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 1,116 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BiologyBob
BiologyBob from Texas

3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Brown in color with a thin white head.
Smells nutty like a brown ale.
Medium bodied, tastes of toasted malt and caramel. Reminds me of an Oktoberfest.
I like it, but I keep wondering is this Virginia in Vienna or Vienna in Virginia? I think the latter.

Sunday at 04:38 AM
Photo of Wattie83
Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass. Look is copper, clear body with lively carbonation rising up to an off-white head that starts at about 1 finger and falls to a cap. Smell is bready malt, earthy hops. Taste follows with sweet bready malt up front, middle is caramel and a bit of bitterness. Finishes with a dose of earthiness from the hops, finishes pretty clean in the end. Body is light to medium, smooth carbonation, clean finish. Overall, this is a nice lager, easy to drink, good in its simplicity.

Jan 21, 2021
Photo of Elvis_on_Bass
Elvis_on_Bass from New York

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I really like this one as an everyday beer.

Look: Copper to amber, minimal head, slow rising carbonation.
Smell: Caramel and toffee
Taste: Clean, malty backbone with dose of caramel malt. Just enough bitterness to balance, barely noticeable.
Feel: Medium to Medium-High carbonation, cleans palate, quick finish.
Overall: Good everyday lager, no flaws, a touch too much caramel for my taste.

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of CBlack85
CBlack85 from South Carolina

3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Goose Island Willi Becher Glass

the beer pours a clear, dark copper color with mahogany highlights and 2 fingers worth of off-white head that slowly recedes to a small cap

the aroma is bready, toasted malts, caramel, and just a hint of floral hops. Very clean and inviting

the taste is much like the aroma bready, toasty malts, and caramel with just the slightest hop presence to create a nice balance and keep the beer from being too sweet.

medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

overall, this is a great beer to enjoy with or without food, in any season. great effort by Devils Backbone

Dec 22, 2020
Photo of MrOH
MrOH from Malta

3.51/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear burnt sienna, off-white head, ok retention, streaky rings of lace
Toasted bread crust and caramel aroma
Flavor follows the nose
Medium bodied, could use a little bit more carbonation
A good fall beer

Sep 09, 2020
Photo of Urtravel
Urtravel from Pennsylvania

4.86/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: moderate brown colar with think head and lace
S:sweet malty notes with caramel touch
T:follows smell
F:full bodied cover with smoothness going down
O:a great lager

Sep 03, 2020
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Pours a lovely translucent copper with a fizzy, quarter inch, off-white head that sizzles and pops and slowly settles... Nose expresses notes of grass and caramel malts, as well as hints of fruity esters in the background. Taste follows nose with the addition of some toasted notes and a mild buttery character at the finish. Mouthfeel is light in body with a bright carbonation. Overall, a pretty tasty example of the style.

Jul 23, 2020
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tumbler.
Best by: 01 SEP 20

A decent Vienna but the light spicy bitterness wasn't enough to balance out the big malty flavor that seemed too heavy on caramel and left me wanting for the dark, toasty bread that I found in the nose. But the medium-light, creamy body and moderate carbonation make for an enjoyable mouthfeel.

Jun 24, 2020
Photo of TijuanaTovar
TijuanaTovar from North Carolina

4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super balanced beer/lager. Slightly amber with a near perfect blend of hops, malts and kilend/roasted malts. Only setback is that this beer has nearly no head retention and it could have slightly more hop/IBU character.

Jun 14, 2020
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Devils Backbone Vienna Lager has a thick, bone-colored head, and a clear, bubbly amber appearance, with moderate lacing. The aroma is of toasted malt & brown bread crust. There is a similar flavor, with noticeable bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and D.B. Vienna Lager finishes medium dry.


May 26, 2020
Photo of hopsputin
hopsputin from New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: clear, dark copper color with some light mahogany, and dark amber notes. pours a 2 finger solid off-white head that fades to about 1/4 finger quickly

s: caramel, toasted malts, grass, and atouch of dark fruits & berries. a little floral note with some grass. big, dought crusty bread backbone

t: sweet grains, caramel, and freshly baked crusty bread. grass, mild toffee, and candied apple

m: medium mouthfeel with higher carbonation

o: i mean, this is a super-solid Vienna Lager. it checks all the boxes and tastes good to boot

May 07, 2020
Photo of rapayn01
rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle for a Harris Teeter mix 6er when visiting Virginia for 4th of July 2016. It's true to the style, but kind of malty. In truth, I gave it away after a few swallows. Not really my preferred style.

May 04, 2020
Photo of realJohnnyHobo
realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Being a fan of the Nationals, getting your hands on Devil's Backbone in 2019 is common but a special experience when you visit Nationals Park. Tier 4, DB bar overlooks leftfield and the majority of the stadium with views of the Anacostia River from afar and on the other side Virginia home to the most independent cities in the US. However, it would be a 5-6's hour drive southwest to get to DB's home brewery in Lexington; would it be worth the commute? You're damn right. Oddly enough I had the pleasure of having this beer right after it's a regional release party in or around 2010 in the DMV. Then I knew the beer was something great, but to be honest it was just 'good'. I never really paid attention to it until 2019 and then again today.

DB is a product of AB-InBev, but that hasn't separated it from being exclusively brewed at their massive facility. One thing that DB really prides itself on its quality products made the hard way. While going up against some giant names in the Vienna lager style, DB makes simply one of the tasty offerings on the market. This is DB's signature beer and it outshines some larger breweries signature beers in many ways.

Pouring a delightful caramel amber color, the beverage has a frothily creamy head that not only is white but with hints of brown and malted specks throughout the micro-bubbling from my 12oz can into a pint glass. As for the smell, it takes a lot to detect, but the mix of maltiness characteristics shine through.

The mouthfeel is light, and the beer has a tad bit of syrupiness to the finish, though complex in its flavor profile. Front tasting notes include soft water, sweet caramel and Vienna malts, blended over with a mild hopiness, but finishes delightfully rich and easy drinking. Yeast is very unnoticeable.

Apr 07, 2020
Photo of Singlefinpin
Singlefinpin from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drinking this at home because you cannot be served a proper pint on draft any where because of Covid 19.
Drinking this at home.
Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.
Appears clear amber with a nice foamy head that dropped quickly, and some nice lacing.
Smells slightly malty, floral, sweet.
Taste follows the nose. Malt forward, sweet, not quite bitter enough for my taste.
Mouth feel is medium for the style.
Overall, a nice session beer, that I'd like to drink several of on a nice summer day.

Mar 28, 2020
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pint at a downtown spot in Louisville. Must have been an InBev bar because that's all they had except for some locals. Beer was amber with decent head. No real aroma. Taste was too sweet and tangy with caramel instead of toasted malt. Watery with slight off flavors. Forgettable.

Feb 22, 2020
Photo of HarryPotHead
HarryPotHead from Maryland

3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pilsner glass. No head no lacing to be found. Nice copper color and light carbonation. Taste is a little skunky with a light malt finish and no bitterness. Reminds me a bit of Yuengling's lager. It's a decent beer. Nothing outstanding and definitely not "bad" but probably wont get this one again......there's just so many others in this category that shine.

Feb 15, 2020
Photo of paging12
paging12 from Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Huh. Very curious. Poured into pilsener glass from a bottle. I drank two of them just to be certain. The second one was better. This beer definitely needs to be allowed to warm up. I would crush these beers over the summer while watching baseball thinking that they were the best thing. Then I reviewed them and compared them to another Vienna Lager and the results weren’t as favorable.

The mouthfeel is thin, very thin. I was left with flavor that stopped short, no lingering breadiness. There was caramel, sure. But the flavor just stopped very short. This beer could have been richer, denser, heavier. Just a bit, not too much more. The first beer had some serious off aromas and flavors, like bad water or something. No complexity, single note, flat, short finish.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of detgfrsh
detgfrsh from Texas

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle. Dark amber color. Bready roasted malt smell. Medium body. Roasted malt flavors with a little sweetness and some floral hops to finish. A good, traditional take on the style.

Jan 18, 2020
Photo of jmc65267
jmc65267 from Georgia

2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

To be honest it was a pretty disappointing lager. Just tasted like a overpriced bud light but a little better. Underwhelming and I will not be buying again.

Nov 22, 2019
Photo of Buckeye55
Buckeye55 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber color with full head. Smells mostly of malt. Tastes malty with notes of both sweet and sour from the hops. Medium mouthfeel with a dry finish and slightly bitter aftertaste. Very good beer, just a notch below outstanding

Aug 03, 2019
Photo of Ursula1007
Ursula1007 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a perfect beer. If you are craving a really delicious, solid beer, this is it. No over hopped BS, no odd additions. A percent traditional beer.
Get some.

Aug 02, 2019
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice Vienna that seems like DB followed the historic routines and recipes.
Clear Looks, yet a pretty amber. Smells mostly of malt and Tastes that way also... which just enough hops for balance and tang. Finishes semi-dry.

I went on their website and found yet another brewery in the Shenandoahs. An out-of-the-way concentration helping making it a destination. DB seems to provide many of the same things as the competition: atmosphere, dedication to the craft all wrapped up as a get-away. The formula seems to work !

Apr 01, 2019
Photo of Bgmac
Bgmac from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Arguably the best beer brewed in Virginia with good availability throughout the state. My friends love it. Lucky for me its available at all the local grocery stores and local restaurants that serve draft/craft beer. Availability should be a rating point. Will make it a point to visit their brewery next time I am near.

Mar 09, 2019
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear very dark amber color. Medium body and light carbonation.
Aroma is nutty caramel , bread,yeast, grain
Taste has a mildly sour graininess, bread, yeast and malt
Overall a very decent beer

Feb 26, 2019
Photo of ATL6245
ATL6245 from Georgia

4.31/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Saaz hops deliver herbal notes. Vienna and Pilsner Malts deliver a bready aroma. Dark Munich Malt adds a toasty note.
Appearance: Clear, medium amber color. Mousse-like, tan head three fingers tall with large bubbles and lengthy retention. Addition of Dark Munich Malt darkens the amber color.
Flavor: Malt forward with medium sweet backbone. Slight herbal flavor. Northern Brewers and Saaz hops provide a restrained bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation on the palate. Finishing soft with a short bitter note at the end.
Bottom line: I actually prefer Arches Mexican Empire and Sam Adams Boston Lager because they use Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger hops. But that just a personal preference. A well crafted beer, Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager provides another solid example of the style that can be found nationwide. It has continued to win beer festival awards since its introduction in 2008.

Feb 23, 2019
Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1116 ratings