Vienna Lager | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

very good
145 Reviews
Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed using a combination of Northern Brewer and Saaz hops with Vienna, Pilsen, Dark Munich and Caramel malts and allowing five weeks for the lagering process and the flavors to fully develop.

Added by on 12-24-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 818
Photo of PA-hunter
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 4.9% abv

Appearance- Dark Red/amber in color with a course bubbly head with a slight tan tint. Brilliant clarity.

Smell- Caramel, toasted cracker, baked bread.

Taste- Full of caramel malt. Doughy yet crisp cracker flavor mixes in while the caramel base remains. Sweet finish, notes of molasses and bread crust. Ends with a slight touch of bitterness and cooked grains.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A solid Vienna. Captures that heavy caramel taste well as this style sets out to do. The dark red color gives this away. Sets the mark for the style well.

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Photo of Proton01
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vienna lager had a very nice color and great nose. The taste is clean with hint of caramel like flavor and crisp finish. It had a bit of an after taste but cleans up fast. It a staple in my frig just a bit hard to get in NJ.

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Photo of bankboy66
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nice light brown color but no head to speak of. Lots of caramel smell. Thought it was on the watery side.....taste was ok. Liked it but didn't love it. Average example for the style.

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Photo of rockinrickster
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice taste. I haven't had a lot of Viennas and this was very good. Nice amber color. Nice malty taste, not too heavy. No bitter aftertaste to speak of. Definitely would drink it again.

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Photo of SoccerSeuss
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Born on date marked June 1, 2016

Nice dark amber color, clear, with finger of white head that settled to ring at edge of glass.

Smelled slightly of caramel and brown bread.

Tasted mildly sweet, bready.

Smooth and medium bodied.

An enjoyable lager that has become the lager option on tap of most of the local bars and restaurants. Nice to see a more local option.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter

Copper russet clear liquid , one finger white foam cap settles to a white layer

Aroma of brady malts

Malt taste with a slight hop presence , mildly sweet

Good sudsing, crisp

Nice beer

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Photo of justintcoons
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Golden amber with 1 finger of head. Good clarity with moderate carbonation.

Sweet brown bread, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee.

Sweet brown breads with touches of toast and raisin. Caramel and toffee with sprinkles of brown sugar. Light earthy, leafy hop presence.

Medium bodied, crisp, clean, and well balanced.

Thirst quenching while keeping a bold, well balanced flavor profile.

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Photo of ChestSplitter
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber.
Smell is very malty.
Taste is very well-balanced, and the taste/feel are bigger and bolder than your typical lager.
Even though it's reasonably light, it doesn't taste that way.
One of the better lagers I've had.

 231 characters

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Darker amber color with a thin white head.

Smell: Light sweeter malts.

Mouthfeel/ Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of sweeter malts and a hint of bitterNess.

Overall: Good beer. I would have this one again.

 255 characters

Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper color with just under a finger of head. The nose has a solid malt character. The maltiness carries over into the flavor profile but there is something a touch wanting and thin about this offering.

This is good and close to very good.

 251 characters

Photo of 88caprice
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark copper color. Active bubbles and frothy layer on top.
Smells toasty and malty. Some sweetness and caramelization.
Good lager taste. Caramelized malt, bready. Ever-so-slightly sour. Great biscuity finish.
A nice Vienna lager.

 234 characters

Photo of Jensen83
4.56/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent lager with a great color and very refreshing feel. The malty body gives it the right balance between a light lager with a lot of taste. Delicious.

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Photo of smcolw
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Small head and no lace. Clear with a dark amber color.

Toasted biscuit aroma. Lightly sour.

Quite spritzy on the tongue, neutral body. Biscuit flavor without being nutty. Slightly sweet with a bit of dry caramel. Little hop as I expected. Strong toastiness in the swallow. Short aftertaste.

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Photo of Eeroomnhoj
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I know I have had this beer before but I guess I never recorded it. Purchased a 12 pack the other week and have been slowly consuming them with pleasure. The first can tasted a little "canny" but I may have been used to bottled beer and thought I tasted the can. After a few I realized that this is a good can of beer. I can probably drink this on the fourth of July and still stand by nighttime.
Good flavor, good smell. Could not tell you about color or lacing as I am drinking this from a can.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Ultra clear amber with very limited carbonation and a small white head film cap. Smell is hoppy with a solid malt backbone. Taste is simple and underwhelming, particularly among style. The malt bill almost gets interesting on the back end, but disappoints, lingering in a quiet, shameless way. Mouthfeel is the standout characteristic. Smooth and easy-drinking, just not something I'd try to knock back a ton of.

 417 characters

Photo of adamhdg
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tea colored brew with almost no head. Very slight bready smell. Nice flavor that is heavy in rye. Very little carbonation that leaves it with a less than desirable mouth feel. Overall a nice beer that I would try again.

 219 characters

Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Disclaimer: I'm typically not a lager drinker and I actually like this beer. Beautiful almost Amber color. Almost nonexistent white head. The smell is completely neutral to my nose. The flavor is sweet and malty without a lot of hops. It's probably right in Stacey's sweet spot; it's a little bland for my taste, but still one of the best lagers I've ever had.

 361 characters

Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very solid example of the style. My only gripe is that its perhaps a bit too "clean and light" on the mouth. Not by much however. It is extremely easy drinking. If it weren't for elliot ness (wich is cheaper as well as being superior though somewhat heavier) I would drink alot more of this.

 292 characters

Photo of ljdrinksbeer
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L - vigorous pour, billowy off-white head leaving peaks of foam and nice lacing, clear amber with golden hue
S - yeasty
T - yeasty, malt, bready
F - carbonated, light
O - really liked this a few weeks ago and while less impressed now its still solid.

 251 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2-2-2016, drank 6 Apr 2016. Nice golden tan color. Some head that didn't linger too long, a slightly creamy or very light tan color. Carbonation seems unusually active? Smell minimal. Taste balanced, slow starting, then into a classic refreshing lager edginess. Mouthfeel grows noticeably softer after a bit as the flavor subsides. Allowed to warm from standard refrigerator temperature a bit, the taste seems to become smoother and more balanced, and the mouthfeel softer. Nice overall, if not too complex. In some ways exemplary, at least of this style, but never overwhelmingly remarkable.

 600 characters

Photo of Jason
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Bright reddish copper hue, froth stays around for a while. Lots of toasted grain character, nutty and cracker-like. A kiss of sweetness and very clean. Mild hop bitterness with some grassy herbal hop flavor. Clean finish and ends up slightly dry. Very well done.

 308 characters

Photo of PeterBA
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I'm a huge fan of Vienna lagers. The European versions are stale, I live in Virginia so this is fresh and the best I've found.
This beer is very good for the style, maybe Abita Amber or Negra Modelo would be as good if they were as fresh.

 241 characters

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears a clear burnt copper color with yellowish khaki head that fades leaving spotty lace.

It smells sweet and bready with buttery toffee notes before fading to a bit of fresh graininess. This tastes like toffee, sweet with fresh grains and slight fruity alcohol with a touch of herbal hops.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Its a brew with solid balance and is easy drinking.

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Photo of dtumminelliob
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I preface this by saying that I'm not a gigantic fan of Vienna lagers. This beer is exceptional for the style. The pour is golden and very clear. The smell is nothing special, but I didn't expect much from a Vienna lager. The taste, however, is stunning. It's definitely a Vienna lager, but with so much depth I don't even really know how to describe it. There's a sort of bready-fruity-caramel flavor without it being sweet. The feel is just right for a lager--very smooth and drinkable.

 488 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A fresher re-review.

Pours a beautiful copper color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. Despite being fairly short, retention is decent for the style. Not much (if any) lacing is left on the glass, though.

At its coldest, the aroma brings a fair amount of earthy noble hopping. Letting this open up will reveal some toasted and caramel maltiness - a bit too much caramel, actually. Some fruity twinges also appear. Not a bad nose, just not terribly delicate or nuanced.

Some fruity flavors open the flavor profile up - think apricot or peach. Then, the flavors transition into something resembling toasted caramel, while a gentle touch of noble hops finish it off. This is a fairly simple lager lacking complexity; even worse, the flavors don't seem to balance each other very well. Having said that, I enjoy parts of this.

This has a medium-light body and an initially crisp finish. After a while, though, the texture of this lager becomes thick and a bit too sweet. Carbonation is reasonably robust, however.

I really want this to be a world-class Vienna, I really do. The problem here is, it's a flabby lager that has some interesting notes, but little in the way of subtlety, nuance, or depth. It'll be great with Mexican, at least. This lager lover is pretty let down by this one (again).

3.02/5: The framework for a great Vienna is there...but the end result is pretty damn mixed

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 818 ratings.
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