Vienna Lager | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

very good
148 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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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 826
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.

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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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Photo of FriedSlug
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Zylod
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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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 stephenjmoore
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +6.9%
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.

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Photo of bonterra69
2.92/5  rDev -22.8%
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 +12.4%
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 tillmac62
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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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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 Speedy308
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have just really gotten into beer drinking and enjoy tasting varieties. This is also my first review so take it as it is.

Great caramel color
small head unless very vigorous pour
Smell is light
Taste isn't very hoppy, but not a watered down taste either. Very smooth

Very happy with this beer overall and it's a great Sunday beer.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours read with a small head that disappears immediately. Smells of dark roasted grain with slight fruitiness and very slight vanilla. Tastes of roasted grain and slight fruitiness, not as strong of flavor as expected. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

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Photo of thebeers
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful, clear amber color with thin white head. Aroma of caramel and cracker malts and slight grassy hops. Slightly sweet, caramel malt flavor, while remaining very light bodied. Just a touch of creaminess to the mouthfeel. A nice, easy-drinking Vienna lager.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It has moderate/average head at best that disappears quickly even with a really hard pour into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. It does leave a decent light brown film on top though. It is dark copper in color, and cloudy.

It smells fairly sweet, almost like caramel malts, and bread crust.

There is an moderate rye like spice initially, then sweet malts with a hint of floral hops and lots of cracker and toast flavors. It is malt dominated. I think the lingering sweetness really hurts it. I had it at 4 initially, and worked my way back to 3.5 by the end.

It has a pilsner like crispness and is very clean feeling. It drinks like a little bit lighter bodied Marzen. Probably the best aspect.

Although the flavors are very good, they lack a little depth. Everything just hints at being a little better. Still a very nice lager.

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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 Buck89
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. Nice light orange-brown color but with no head despite a fairly vigorous pour. Aromas of dark bread, cracker and some caramel, with a faint floral presence. Taste followed closely with a pleasing dark bready malt and some sweetness with a subtle floral hop bitterness. Carb was a little low, feel was light.. Overall, a nice Vienna lager.

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Photo of vabeerguy
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Caramel color. Has a balanced malt and hop flavor. Easy to drink, could very well be a great session beer. My wife is not a beer drinker but this is one she will almost always order when we go to a bar or restaurant. I am more of a brown ale and Belgian beer fan but lean toward this Vienna Lager when I am thirsty and want a refreshing, tasty beverage.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap in a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, vibrant, caramel color with no head. Aromas of subtle caramel and toasted grains, with some subtle floral highlights. Flavors are richly sweet forward, with roasted caramel on a toasty backbone, subtle floral highlights, and an underlying hops bitterness. Big and smooth in mouth, with a crisp and clean finish. Roasted and rich caramel aftertaste. Good beer.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 8/1/15:
The beer had lower-moderate head initially, but it kind of wants to stick around. The beer is on the brown side of amber, but also quite clear.

The nose is actually a bit darker grain crackery on a warmer beer, little more medium dark bready before.

Taste follows nose, malty up front with enough bitterness to balance it. There is a light brown sugar - or at least dark bread sweetness - in this beer. I get a light spiciness to the hop balance, maybe a bit herbal before the spice bite hit at the end. Let it be noted, these notes are relative to an overall malty-side-of-balanced brew.

Feel was quite nice... light on carbonation but decent body and a fairly nice smoothness.

Appreciating this more as I analyze it, considering I've had it a bunch as a highly available beer around my parts, even in non-craft bars. This needs to also be weighed against my current increased lean towards balanced or even malty beers.

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Photo of wedge
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear copper with a quickly fading off-white head. Doughy, somewhat toasty aroma - not much to it. Flavor has more malty richness, but still comes across as muddled. Toasted, nutty malts, honey, and a noble hop woody spice in the finish. Medium-light, smooth, and crisp. Drinkable for sure, but a fresh Boston Lager is better.

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

A: Pours a crystal clear medium to dark copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and some faint garnet red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts, caramel malts, brown sugar, and grassy hops with a hint of dark fruit/raisin.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of toasted malts and caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of brown sugar and dark fruit/raisin sweetness. That is followed by a light flavor of grassy hops which contributes a light amount of bitterness which does not linger for long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink, well balanced and hiding the alcohol well. Definitely worth grabbing and I'm looking forward to getting another one of these.

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Photo of tlema1
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Amber/brown color, tight white head
A: faint Carmel and malt
T: great example of the style, well done lager for an American brewery, east drinking and flavorful
F: light to medium body, which lends to the drinkability
O: would recommend

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont House of Smoke in Norfolk, VA.

This one pours a light amber brown, with a small head, and a small amount of lacing.

Smells like toasty and bready malt, nuts, and some slight grassy hoppiness.

This one tastes pretty similar to the way it smells, great deep maltiness without being heavy- toasted malt, bit of tobacco and grassiness, and a great nuttiness. Really drinkable, could see drinking a lot of these.

This is medium bodied, goes down easy, with a moderate level of carbonation, and a bready mouthfeel.

A really excellent Vienna lager, one of the best made in the US.

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 826 ratings.
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