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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 799
Photo of brentk56
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bubble show at the outset and then a three inch head settles on the copper colored liquid; patchy lacing

Smell: Caramel, biscuit and a hint of tea

Taste: Caramel, up front, with bit of biscuit and tea flavors developing; caramel dominates throughout

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, very creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a style I often seek out but this is a great example of what it should be

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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 MadCat
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours a nice amber color with a short white head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Nice caramel malt with some cracker

Taste: Caramel malt, light hopping, biscuity, citrus, pepper

Feel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: A solid Vienna Lager, and something good for those BMC drinkers in your life, but not something I particularly love

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I first tried this on tap, but lately have been seeing them in six packs so I picked some up and chilled it down real good and then poured into a glass. At the time of reviewing this, I only had available a tall English Ale glass, but it’ll get the job done. This lager has a deflated 4.9% ABV and has no bitterness.

Look-It pours a dark amber/mahogany that is very clear and the carbonation trails can be seen. The head comes in medium about a finger or two settling down to a film after a while. The lacing is foamy and slightly moist.

Smell-It is a malt-forward smell with biscuit-like, toasted cracker smells and a sweetness to it that is honey-based and a mild spiciness to it that is like clover and coriander.

Taste-It has a refreshing taste with complex malts that follow the nose, but then there are hints of clementine citrus, honey, black-pepper notes, and a caramel based malt.

Mouthfeel-It is definitely medium-bodied and sufficiently fizzy from the decent amount of carbonation. There is not much of a bite from the low 4.9% alcohol, but the carbonation takes care of most of that.

Overall-This is a session lager to say the least, but is quite refreshing. I would have liked to see a bit more character and dynamic flavor components coming through the hops, but it was still a good beer.

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap in a pilsner glass. Golden amber color. Fairly malty smell, with a little bit of spiciness. Sweet malt flavor with faint hops. Clean finish and carbonation.

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Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- 12oz bottle poured to a couple bechers with a deep copper amber body and a fizzy white head. Decent retention falling to almost nothing with rare lacing.

S- Toasty Vienna malts bring caramelized sugar, light nutty, toast and biscuit aromas while the yeast is mostly clean save hints of pale fruit esters and spice.

T- Toasty and flavorful grains as in the aroma with a very clean and crisp taste. Slight medium caramelized sugars, toast, biscuit, cereal grains, pale candi sugar and just a hint of fruit and spice. Slight spicy hops and bready hints.

MF- Puffy light-medium body with a high end carbonation level. Texture is crisp and smooth with very low bitterness.

Clean and toasty with those Vienna malts doing most of the work. Appears deeper in color but still drinks very easily and smoothly thanks to those grains.

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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 KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not enough breweries will take on the non sexy beers like a Vienna lager so kudos to Devils Backbone. This is a nicely dark malted lager with a touch of caramel, barley and pecan. Little bit of toasted grain and nut. This is a lager with a nice bit of personality.

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Photo of arizcards
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a sixer last Saturday from the Food Lion in Williamsburg, VA for $9.99. This is supposed to be Da Boss' go to beer for the week but she had two as she is little and petite and not into drinking beyond the one or two pint with a meal.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is malt city and not much beyond that.

Taste is solid, nice malt backbone with enough hopping to make my chips and salsa that I am pairing this with come alive.

Mouthfeel is thicker than what I expect from this style. Would expect something lighter and crisper especially from the hop bill previously detected.

Overall a tasty brew...glad Da Boss left some behind for me!

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Photo of smanders
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend gave me a Vienna Lager a couple weeks ago. I remember it positively, so I bought a 6'er from TW for $8.99. Poured into a lager glass for review.

Appearance: dark copper coloring with minimal head. No lacing.

Smell: a hint of sweet malt, but not much else.

Taste: honey sweet wheat bread.

Mouthfeel: a tad sticky. Not bad.

Drinkability: a good representative of the style made better by the fact that it's local.

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

Decent session beer. Pours a nice clear dark copper color into a pint glass. Small antique white head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet malt, nothing complex but strong enough. Nice flavor for a session beer. Slightly sweet biscuity malk
t and a little grassy hops for balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is not watery, just light and crisp. Enough bitterness to balance the malt. Would be good in pitchers or as a summertime cooler.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Amber sludgy brown, with no head.

Flat, smells a bit like a homebrew - some malts, little else.

Malty like a big loaf of brown bread, restful on the tongue, mildly hoppy.

Nice in the mouth, sticky and even verging on chewy.

Decent, nothing bad about it, but nothing exceptional either.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this served to me on tap at harpoon Larry's. Dark amber with no head to speak up, minimal lacing. Smell is faint wheat and malts. The taste was slightly floral, with some hoppiness on the tongue, but it didn't hit me with the same bang that Eliot Ness did a while back. The mouthfeel is pretty solid, with medium body and a decent bite on the back of the tongue. Overall, this is a slightly above average Vienna.

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Photo of ordybill
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The appearance is a dark amber beer poured from the tap, with a small white head. The aroma is malt, grass with some sweet caramel. The taste is caramel, grass and a slight bitter finish.

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Photo of Chessmaster
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into lager glass

A: Clear, attractive, orange-red appearance, crystal clear. White head disappeared almost instantly leaving no head at all on top - bad. Constant stream of bubbles rising through liquid

S: Caramel, maybe a little fruity, some bready notes. Pleasant

T: Clean, crisp, a little biscuity/bready, malty/caramel

M: Medium bodied

O: The smell and taste are pleasant and this beer is quite drinkable. A little lacking in the appearance but otherwise good.

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Photo of Pantalones
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Re-reviewing since my previous review was way back when I first started reviewing (and within a couple months of when I first started drinking beer.) Bottling date on this one is December 13th, 2015.

Pours a dark golden color, very clear; once in the glass it's more of a shiny dark-orange and still very clear, with a good number of little bubbles rising up from the bottom. Doesn't tend to produce much of a head of foam, unfortunately; poured a bit harder than I usually do today and still only got a thin layer, which by now has shrunk to a few patches on top and a thicker ring around the edge.

Smell is nice -- sweet toasty-nutty almost caramel-y malty smells, with an almost doughy sort of background smell that I pick up in a lot of lagers (perhaps the result of the lager yeast strain?) Can't believe I rated the smell so low before -- maybe it was just overpowered by all the food-smells around since I had it in a restaurant that time?

Taste is similar to the smell but stronger; lots of toasty and nutty flavors going on right away, not quite as caramely-sweet as the smell but this actually works in its favor. I am occasionally picking up a bit more of a sweetness there, maybe almost a fruity sort of flavor popping in here and there, but not anywhere near too much sweetness -- it's all very balanced. The background "lager flavor" is also present and, as with the smell, gives it a bit of a doughiness. This mixes with the malty flavors very nicely. Maybe a tiny bit of dry-grassy European type hops in there, but the malt definitely is in focus. It's a bit on the subtle side, but I'm finding that there is a whole lot more going on in here than I realized back when I wrote my old review.

Super drinkable -- I've already gotten nearly half the glass down already without really even trying! -- but not too light or watery. Not too prickly from carbonation, either.

Overall, a very nice beer -- glad to have had a couple more of these in my fridge again thanks to the collaboration pack, and I'm sure they won't be my last considering that this is one of those beers I end up going back to over and over again (and considering I live less than 15 miles from the brewery and enjoy good lagers, why the heck wouldn't I!?)

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Photo of wac9
3.17/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

wife always picks a good beer on her away from fl and she know nothing about beer , just a copper color beer thats a crisp taste but also some hits of hops taste ans carmel smmoth so drink another

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Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose along with some hints of raisins.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of toasted mats along with notes of sweetness and some hints of caramel and grassy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down easily and is pleasantly smooth. I wouldn't mind having another one of these.

Serving type: bottle

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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 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 dmberger
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Thought that this was an ok beer. Nothing too much exciting about it--malt sweetness is about it, with muted flavors otherwise. However, it doesn't offend either, which is better than many beers. Very drinkable, with a low ABV, and if I ran into again, I would consider it. There is a place in the world for good, yet boring, beer.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
3/5  rDev -20.6%

I am on a work trip in VA, so I am devoted to drinking as many hard to find breweries as I can. Went to the Tap Room in Reston, and Shawn the bartender recommended this - he was reaching as the Loose Cannon was all gone. Anyways, had this since it was a low ABV. Need to be responsible. Especially since the next 3 beers may not be as kind. Anyways this beer was a little wispy. No head, golden amber color. Not a hop to be found. Crispy and wet. I will give it that. If there was a fire, I would immediately think to get this beer. My dislike has more to do with the vienna Lager style I think. This was just ok in my mind

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Photo of kellyej
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

A: Amber/golden color, wispy/weak head, clear
S: Oat dust, biscuit, honey, grass
M: Smooth, little coating
T: Clean, balanced beer with notes of grass, honey, wheat bread crust, and toasty-ness

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

I wasn't terribly impressed with this beer. It pours a dark amber with a 1 " foamy head that dissipates VERY quickly to nothing. No real lacing left along the glass as you finish. Smell is malty, with a touch of sweetness, but nothing really stands out apart from the malt. There are slight hints of caramel, but overall the taste is VERY thin. Just not much to it. By the end of one, I was ready to try something else.

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the better examples of the style I have had in a while. Pours deep copper with nice carbonation and decent head. Nice and malty I would get a six pack of this if I saw it again.

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Vienna Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 799 ratings.
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