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 Barracudas
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer tastes incredible when fresh!

I always have a pint when I drive near the Devil's Backbone Outpost!

I also fill the 64 oz growler to enjoy when I get home. It is mighty tasty.

Definitely recommended!

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Photo of jdlarkins
4.8/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at brewery. A great session beer; I echo the other reviews when I say this is one of the best Vienna style beers I have ever tried in USA. Deep ruby color; rich mouthfeel, malty body. I could drink this by the gallon. Too bad it's only avilbe at the brewpub or in to go growlers.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.77/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, dark, amber/mahogany color with a half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with tons of biscuit-like, bready, toasted malt, black pepper, caramel and honey, heather, and a touch of floral, grassy, citrusy, hops. Smells inviting and delicious!

Taste: Delicious! Tons of bready, biscuit-like, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of black pepper, honey and caramel-like sweetness, a hint of citrus and a hint, a whisper, really, of hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and nicely effervescent, as there’s quite a bit of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is one of my favorite session beers, period. Malty, slightly sweet, bready, crisp, satisfying, very, very drinkable and spectacular! If you like Vienna Lagers, you’ll love this one! Highly, highly recommended!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.
4.9% ABV, "Boned on Aug 15 2012" printed on shoulder in black.

Thanks to Chaney for another brew sent in his ungodly large and generous box!

A - From the beer's incredibly designed, painted, illustrated label to the fact the bottle reads "boned on", it's already scoring points and the beer hasn't been poured yet! Once in the glass, a turbid pour froths up a dense off-white bone-colored head with specks of lace dotting the glass once it disappears. The beer is a brilliantly shimmering sienna color with little carbonation streaming through the crystal clear beer.

S - Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager has an amazing crispness about it's aroma that's so simple and intoxicating upon first whiff. Vienna malt creates a plethora of light complexities from wheat toast and flaky biscuits to woodiness that works well with the beer's hop notes of faint herbal and spice notes.

T - Sweet malt suggests caramel tones with a thick bready flavor following and toast notes finishing. Hop balance is certainly prevalent, but it's flavors are near absent. The taste is quite elegant and delicious but not as subtly deep as the aroma.

M - Soft creaminess washes over the tongue while sipping this medium-light bodied lager. Gentle carbonation keeps the feel lively with a touch of dryness on the finish that's balanced by the hops.

O - Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager is a malt-forward classic rendition of a great German style. Soft and smooth with a well-balanced malt sweetness, the beer is easy drinking, delightfully simple, but filled with understated complexities.

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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 Jericho7x
4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour cold into a 16oz beer glass....

Almost no head on it. Odd I know. Beautiful caramel/amber color. Mostly clear. Taste and feel are wonderful! Crisp, light to med feel in the mouth. Very low hoppy and malty flavors. Just tastes like a REAL beer. I would suggest that if you are tired of the Coors/Buds/Millers of the world because they taste watered down and bland, THIS is a beer for you to try.

I really like this beer. It just became available in middle Tennessee, so THANK YOU!!!! Only issue I have is that our local supermarket (Kroger) had this ON SALE for $13.99 a 6-pack. Way too much for anyone to pay. However, my local beer/liquor store has it for $8.99/6-pack! I got 2.

This will be my "go to" beer from now on. It will be good with any food at any time all year round.

I don't like to use the "L word" much, but I do LOVE this beer.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.51/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Amber hue with a 1 inch, off white head that stays for a few minutes and slowly dissipates

Smell - Clean malt smell with earthy lager tones.

Taste - Slight diacetyl up front on the tongue with a smooth caramel finish that lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation, not over, not under, just right. Very clean mouthfeel with no harshness

Overall - A very drinkable beer. At 4.9% it's got some great flavor and even better drinkability. The malts used have a lot of flavor packed in this vienna lager for sure. I only had one bottle from a trade, but I wish I'd had another to follow up!

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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.

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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 rugerj
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours copper in color with a half finger head that dissipates quickly, decent lacing left in glass. The smell is of toasted malts and caramel with a slight fruit hint. Taste is toasted and caramel malt with some subdued fruity notes. Carbonation is spot on.

This is my go to beer when at the brewery, outside of some German offerings, this is hands down the best Vienna Lager I have had produced in the states. The beer is very well made and is consistent every time I go here. I would love seeing this bottled.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - clear brown beer with 1 finger head that quickly disappears. Not a very top notch appearance for a beer.

s - an excellent smelling lager. One of the best. Very malty, bready, and sweet caramel and other very pleasant aromas pour out of the glass

t - very perferct lager with sweet malts and smooth finish. Very flavorful and easy to drink. Extremely sessionable.

m - as nice a lager can really be I guess. No issues at all.

overall - There is a reason this beer took home gold medal at the 2012 beerworldcup. Its a fine tasting beer by any measure.

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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.

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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 OldManMetal
4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This lager is a pale amber, crystal-clear effervescent beer wearing a brief-lived, thin ivory head that leaves sparse, fine-grained swoops and splotches of lacing. The nose is light-medium in intensity: toasty malt, with some apple-caramelly character, against earthy hops and modest alcohol overtones. The palate follows the nose; the malt character is smooth and prominently displayed, challenged mid-palate by a modest earthy hop bitterness that doesn't seem to stand a chance, but somehow manages to get in the last word. The finish is balanced, showing both a bit of earthy hops and toasty malt, followed by the onset of a mild hop bitterness that lingers for a minute or two. The mouthfeel is biggish for the light-medium body, and the texture is creamy and medium peppery from the properly-expressed carbonation. This is an extremely drinkable lager. (12 oz bottle, 46 days after pkg)

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: copper in color with a short 1/4" head that broke apart quickly.

Smell: caramel and some fruit sweetness came through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, soft fruity tones, some mild grass flavors, and a hint of bitterness makes up a nicely balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste is short lived.

Drinkability: superb sessionable beer as this went down quickly and the alcohol level is low. Great flavors make this one a must try while at the brewpub.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to BA "velkyal" for the growler from Devil's Backbone Brewing - my first foray into their offerings.

This lager poured into my handled 0.4L glass tuliped mug with an impressive copper color and a somewhat short-lived 1/4" head.

Aromas of bready, biscuity goodness that comes from all well-crafted lagers, along with hints of warm caramel and dark fruit sweetness.

Smooth on the palate without being heavy, this lager offered great balance in the malty body with just enough hops to keep it honest. Each sip left me wanting more. Well balanced, which can be hard to accomplish with a simple style such as this.

Outstanding drinkability, although not in the realm of session beer "by definition", this was a lager I had no trouble consuming in multiple. Good flavor, well balanced and still having something extra. A beer like this reminds me that there may be hope for craft lagers in this country after all.


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Photo of donscott
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is probably one of my favorite lighter colored beer. I have introduced it to several friends and family. They all do a double take at the beer and a mental note for their shopping list. Devils Backbone for me came out of no where and have been producing a great product.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours Brilliant dark copper under a 1” cream colored foam cap that dissipates fairly fast.

S: Bready toasty malt with a light spicy floral note.

T: The flavors follow the aroma with a fresh bread crust to light toast with light floral spice. The malt is medium, the hop notes are medium low. There is lingering light sweetness with faint caramel. Bitterness is moderate to moderately low.

F: Medium to medium low body, medium carbonation.

O: Very well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Hot damn, I can see why this has garnered a couple GABF medals. It holds a rich, deep malt character over a crisp dry body. It's deeply delicious and satisfying, and also oh so drinkable. The barley brings a sweet caramel note, with toasty bread crust, smooth husk, and a hint of fruit juice in the finish. Great beer, go find it.

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Photo of bum732
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Toasty malt, a very deep toasted grain note, some maltiness, touch of sulfur lager notes.

L: Crystal clear amber, white head that dissipates.

T: Toasted malt up front with some sweetness. A prominent herbal/spicy medium low bitterness. Finishes semi-dry with a clean low spiciness.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Really good. Has a very unique toasty flavor, quite intense. Maltiness is toned back, allowing the toastiness and hops to shine. Awesome.

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Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Can't believe I hadn't ever reviewed this! Great color and light beige head. Smells lightly of caramel and crisp yet not overpowering hops. Sweet caramel pops just before a bitter taming from the hops comes around. Smooth and slightly light mouthfeel. Finish is clean, no cloying sweetness in aftertaste. Great all around drinker for almost any situation and fantastic gateway beer for your macro friends.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted this at the Ebbitt Grill BrewHaHa during DC Beer Week 2013; this is a well made lager that balances malt and a sufficient amount of hops. Good balance and decent body makes for a superb sessional beer. Hope to grab one in a more relaxing setting next time.

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Photo of Bruvar
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my go to beers, luckily can get good deals on 12 packs of bottles and is on tap almost everywhere in central VA. Doesn't look all that special, nothing wrong with it but fairly standard color and very little head. I might be too used to it by now but the smell also doesn't stand out, fairly simple but a good mix of malts and grain. Taste however is fantastic, not watered down at all but still not overpowering flavors. Pretty smooth malts with a little bit of bite from either hops or rye give it a pretty unique flavor. Clean finish and going for a second is always the right call.

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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.

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