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Vienna Lager | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

very good
136 Reviews
Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 780
Photo of Cavanaghty
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of 88caprice
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Jensen83
4.56/5  rDev +21%
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 -0.8%
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 +7.4%
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 -4.8%
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.

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Photo of adamhdg
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
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 ljdrinksbeer
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
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 -6.4%
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 +2.7%
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 +19.4%
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 +1.6%
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.

 427 characters

Photo of dtumminelliob
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
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

 1,408 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored pour that was clear and had a nice head that left spotty lacing. The smell is grainy and sweet. A faint hint of apples and caramel are hiding in there too. There is a nice sweet malt aspect to the flavor but there is predominantly toasted wheat and grain. This thing tastes a bit like some sugar coated Wheaties. There is a bit of sweet fruitiness at the end with a touch of bitterness.

 401 characters

Photo of Zylod
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this beer for a little while now. This particular style is one of my favorites. And...its good. Pours nice light amber with decent head. Smell a bit of caramel. Taste follows suit with the malt Very creamy. Tasty stuff. If it wasn't for great lakes Elliot Ness this would be a regular drinker.

 323 characters

Photo of OldManMetal
4.31/5  rDev +14.3%
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 stephenjmoore
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber body with good transparency, foamy bone-white head sits on top. Aroma is primarily caramel malts and hints of toast. Flavor follows, win the toasty malt flavors giving way to hints of caramel and bready flavors. Feel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. A nice offering for the style, put together nicely.

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Photo of drtth
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear deep reddish amber, almost the color of a fine piece of cherry wood furniture. The 1/2" ivory head soon recedes to a small ring of foam, an island of foam, and a thin film over a portion of the liquid. Sipping produces scattered small patches of lacing on the side of the glass. Towards the end of the beer most all is gone except for a ring of foam.

The aromas include some toasted, bready malt with a light touch of noble hops.

As expected from the nose, the flavors emphasize that rich toasted malt sweetness, some nice bready character and some almost nut like touches that seem to come and go.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied with some light prickly sensation from the gentle but persistent carbonation. The finish begins in the toasted malt sweetness which gradually fades through the nut bread flavors to some floral hop dryness at the end and in the back of the palate.

This is a very drinkable beer and I'm pleased to have had a chance to try it. Next time I'm in Virginia I'll be looking for more, especially if I'm expecting to have time with friends for good conversation and good beer.

 1,174 characters

Photo of bonterra69
2.92/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

More like a red ale vs a lager. Nice sweet malty finish. Minimal head. Lacing almost nonexistent. Some cinnamon hints in the aroma but mostly smells lightly of malt. Taste is nothing special although much better when enjoyed at room temperature.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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 tillmac62
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOD 8/7/15. Pours a clear medium amber with a garnet cast. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Very light nose of biscuit with a bit of caramel.

Light body with a semi-smooth texture. Perfect carbonation with a strong effervescent burst in the middle and a finely bubbled rollicking finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. This is crisp and stays crisp throughout the entire palate. It begins with a toasted biscuit with a fair amount of graininess. The middle delivers a mild bitterness and a bit of herbal noble hop flavor. From the middle on, a subtle sweetness rolls around underneath - much like the nose, biscuit with a caramel note. The crisp finish is an effervescent explosion that leaves you with a grainy toasty lingering bitterness.

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.
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