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Vienna Lager | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

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very good
141 Reviews
Vienna LagerVienna Lager

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 806
Photo of WMEugene
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly orangey amber color with a head that dissipates to a thin layer and very good lacing.

S - Rich toasted and caramel malts. A little sweet and fruity.

T - Sweet malt and nutty tastes. Some caramel is present as well. Nice, clean lager taste.

M - Smooth, crisp, and very drinkable. Great carbonation and a nice body.

O - Devil's Backbone has made a very good lager here. The Vienna Lager is a classic example of the style and a very drinkable brew. It may not be the best of the style (that honor belongs to Great Lakes' Eliot Ness), but it is one of the better ones. Quite sessionable.

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/1/12
*From notes

A: Clean jack o'lantern orange. A good pour yields a clean 1.5 finger ivory white head. A thick white collar and decent lacing rim the glass.

S: Sweet malt and grain. Not overly earthy, and not the old world type you may think. As it warms, a touch of hops become evident.

T: Initially a bit sweet. The toasted golden malts and a touch of buttered toast arrive on the mid and wash to the back. A kiss of hops linger on the finish. Not quite as robust as Sam Adams Boston Lager or Great Lakes Eliot Ness, yet just as tasty.

M: Plenty of body and complexity to go around. Thick and creamy with proper carbonation.

O: Devil's Backbone has crafted a really killer session lager with this one. A bit lighter on the toast then some of the better known in-style, yet just as quaffable and easy to drink. I could see this being a great gateway beer for the macro crowd, and something I'll purchase again when it finally comes to Northern Virginia.

Another winner from Virginia. Easily recommended.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap into std pint glass at Fireworks Pizza, Leesburg, VA.
Pours a golden amber. No head or lacing.
Smell is of crisp malt. Taste is slightly fruity, maybe apple, malty but smooth. Slightly heavy and thick, but slightly above average accross the board. Ok brew, not worth seeking out.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code: 0352 A1 2311; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch off-white creamy, carbonated head that sticks around for a minute or two; Clear appearance and copper in color; No real lacing left behind

S - Nice balance in the smell with herbal, spicy, and floral hops, as well as toasted grains, lemon zest, and syrupy sweetness

T - Just a bit of herbal hops are present here, as the taste mostly showcases sweet malts; There's biscuity, toasted grain, lemony citrus, caramel, and syrupy sweet flavors stepping forward; The sweet syrup lingers in the aftertaste with a touch of herbal hops

M - Plenty of carbonation; Just a bit under medium bodied; Very smooth going down; Leaves a bit of a syrupy sweet coat on the tongue

O - Overall, this is a pretty tasty Vienna lager that's super drinkable and great for drinking in numbers. Though the taste is fairly sweet, it's not too overpowering and provides enough Noble hops to create a well rounded flavor. I'm glad this beer is now being distributed in six packs and look forward to picking up some more in the future.

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Photo of Crazyale
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber, with a one finger head that disappears almost immediately.

S: A fairly bold aroma of roasted malt, apple, and a touch of spice.

T: Rich, sweet malt taste at the beginning, with some noble hop biterness coming through at the end. There is some bread that comes out as it warms a little, along with just a hint of the apple. Extremely drinkable. I haven't had a ton of Vienna Lagers, but this stacks up very well with Sam Adams Boston Lager and Brooklyn Lager, which are two that I enjoy a lot.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a mostly dry finish. Not a lot of carbonation. There is a pleasant malt aftertaste that lingers on the tongue.

I'm very impressed by this beer from a new Virginia brewery. At 4.9%, it is highly sessionable, and I will definitely be buying multiple 6 packs of this this summer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub last weekend.

Pours a clear copper color with a single-finger white head and a ring or two of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some slight notes of bread and caramel and a faint hop presence. The flavor is mostly bread crust and a touch of caramel with light hops toward the finish, providing a nice bitterness. Light body and good carbonation. Another winning lager.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer from a style that normally doesn't get attempted, I'm sure because most beer people like the more complex stuff, like myself. This one seemed especially nice though, I can see why it's won awards.

A: Dark crimson color with a dark black core to the hue. Nice pinky of fluffy white head, very nice. Semi clear body overall.

S: Toasty caramel and some nice grape sweet notes, maybe other medium skinned fruits also. Amber cereal malts shine through.

T: Nice lager clean malt character with lots of toasted cereal and fresh bread, again the grapey-sweet note is there with other caramel-toffee flavors as well. A little cocoa powder in there as well.

M: Nice clean feel with ample carbonation. Goes down fairly easy, though I wish it had a little more body.

Overall a nice beer thats easy to drink and tasty enough that a beer love would appreciate this.

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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 drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is yellow and mostly clear with decent carbonation and a soft white head with decent retention that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Looks like a beer.

The aroma is sweet with pilsen malt and no vegetal or off notes in the aroma, a little weak but still quite good.

Beer is wet and medium to light in body without being watery. Strong malt presence props this beer up nicely. The finish isn't dry or grainy, no apparently acidity just a nice finish. I'd have this beer again.

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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 Tucquan
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-07-18 at the brewery.

A - Slightly hazy, red-amber with a short, white head.

S - Mild roasted grain and caramel with some mild leaf scents from the hops.

T - Very pleasant. Of course this isn't a style that knocks you off your feet but it has a nice blend of sweet toasted malt, caramel and just a hint of sourness and bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Light body with light-medium carbonation.

D - Reminds me of an Octoberfest. Easy to quaf but not my favorite combination of flavors but I'm rating it good for the style. I'd rather have a good Pils.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Do they drink a bunch o' similarly-styled brews in good ol' Osterreich? No matter, this one pours a clear pale amber topped by a finger of quickly-dying white foam. The nose comprises tofee, buttered biscuits, and a dab o' honey. Honestly, this is sweeter than I imagined it would be. The taste is not as sweet, holding notes of light caramel, light honey, rye bread, and a bit o' citrus zest. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a decently smooth feel. Overall, a slightly above average Vienna, nicely drinkable but not much beyond that.

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Photo of pablot71
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a growler. Malty bready aroma. No Hops detected. clear Deep copper. Plenty of head that doesn't stick around. Moderate amount of lacing. Slightly sweet with the bitterness creeping in at the end. Medium to full mouth feel. Overall it is a very enoyable lager. This is the one that stood out for me in the sampler enough to want to take home in a growler.

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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 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 CrellMoset
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. 4.9% abv, 18 IBUs.

Appearance: A filtered caramel body, solidly copper, with pleasant lacing but a fast-fading white head. The carbonation here is plentiful, but slow, which is always a good sign.

Aroma: Very crisp, clean, bright - this one's largely dominated by a good balance of leafy, noble hops (Hallertau?) and slightly roasted caramel malts with a dollop of butteriness. It's on the whole also a little faint, which is unfortunate, 'cause what's here is good.

Taste: Similar to the nose, which is good. Buttery, caramelized malts, dry toast, a really solid amount of residual sugars (good balance between dry and sweet), and a slight balancing bitterness/hay-like, lightly floral hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Effervescence in this one is pretty big, leading to a big, crisp, light body. Very refreshing, stylistically solid.

Drinkability: Another solid beer. It's not over the top or mindblowing, but it's definitely sessionable, low in alcohol, crisp and refreshing, and a solid addition to DB's repertoire. Can't wait for the outside seating here to get finished - this seems like a summer/outside on the patio kinda beer.

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 806 ratings.
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