Victoria Bitter (VB) | Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

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Victoria Bitter (VB)Victoria Bitter (VB)

Brewed by:
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dwarbi on 02-16-2002

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 323
Photo of Connorarnott
5/5  rDev +112.8%

The iconic bottle makes for a history rich pour every time with gentle aromas oozing from the perfectly formed head. Though bitters can often be deemed harsh the subtleties, or nuances if you will, of the expertly engineered mixture of A grade barley and top notch hops really elevate this delightful beer to the next level. I recommend the immediate consumption of this product to anybody with a love for fine beer.

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Photo of AussieInPhilly
5/5  rDev +112.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm sorry folks, but this beer is the largest selling beer in a beer drinking culture. If you go to a BBQ, most of the blokes there will be drinking this stuff. As always with a CUB product, it's best to employ the "one in, one out" bottle rotation from the freezer. Ice-cold is the only way to go. There is a distinct crisp taste as it washes over your tounge that lingers long enough to satisfy, never overstaying it's welcome. It is bitter, though pleasently so. Not strong enough to offend your taste buds. Alcohol level is spot on, ensuring you'll get the buzz you're looking for, without knocking you senseless. A great social drink, and isn't that what a good beer is about? While some people are sitting at home trying to over-analyse a brew, thousands of Australians are sitting in the sun downing VB. A mass-produced beer that manages to hit the spot. It is what it is. An Iconic beverage in the land down under, may not suit everyone's taste, but very few Aussies will turn one down!
Take it easy boys and girls!

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Photo of Danimal
4.8/5  rDev +104.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a fan of VB. I have been to the land down under several times while in the Marine Corps. Any bar I went into, VB was the beer of choice.

Appearance: Medium head and clear yellow color

Smell: Light maltly smell mixed with a subtle sweet scent

Taste: In the hot Aussie sun, a VB is best served ice cold. Goes down great. And it doesn't have Bitter in the name for no reason. A full flavored beer. Great for anyday anytime drinking.

Mouthfeel: Felt great to me. In a can, bottle, or out of the tap.

Drinkability: I found it very drinkable. I prefered it over the other beers in Aussie Land. Prefer it over Carlton, Coopers and Fosters.

I don't understand all the bad reviews for Victoria Bitter. Maybe for me it was the environment or maybe the hot Aussie sun, but VB was the best beer in Australia. I remember going to the store and buying 4 cases for the weekend on Friday nights. That would usually last me from Friday night to Sunday night. With no hangover.

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Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +63%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A single that I managed to get sent to me from Woomera AB.

Pours a clear copper colored beer with a good amount of tan head on top.

Smell is quite fruity and a little bit sweet to my nose. Mildly hoped and a little floral smelling with maybe a touch of soapiness in the smell.

Mild malty flavor that has the characteristic Australian "Cracker" flavor. Dry and herbal hop flavor that is a little astringent and fruity in taste. Cracker flavor fades quickly and this in fact does dry out in the mouth quite a bit more than I thought it would. What saves this beer is the hops, seems like they are milder than they are but the drying quality they add here makes all the difference.

Mouthfeel is good.

Far more drinkable than the reviews here would suggest to me. Nothing here but a good easy drinking beer and nothing more. Call this what you want, whether it is a Bitter or a Lager it is the best Australian beer I have yet tried.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev +61.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear light golden color, with a thin but fluffy white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lace.

This beer smells ever so slightly spicy. It has a boiled cabbage odor that I usually detect from this style. It is not nearly as bad as most other beers of the style. The aroma is very subtle

This beer tastes ever so mildly spicy. It has a slightly sweet flavor also. Not too much to it, but as with the aroma, it is better than some Adjunct Lagers I have had.

This beer is crisp. It leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste. It is carbonated well for the style.

This beer would probably make a decent session beer. The flavor is not overwhelming, and not too bad. Also, the alcohol content is not high.

Overall: In the past, before I was into craft beer, I loved this beer. Every time I went to Australia, or Asia, I would get it. I have bar towels, T-shirts, beer glasses. I loved it. Now that I am into craft beer, I see that it is nothing special. But for the style, I still think it is a great beer. I stay away from the style, but I would definately drink this one again.

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Photo of SargeC
3.75/5  rDev +59.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear yellow with moderate carbonation movement. Fizzy white head. The can presents a classic image.

Smell: Minor herbal and light malt aromas.

Taste: Interesting balance between malt and hops. Suits the climate well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad Australian brew. A great example of one of the nation’s other beers.

 381 characters

Photo of canadianbarman
3.68/5  rDev +56.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

--Came in a cool stubby bottle. No freshness date found.
--Average pour in every sense...colour, head, lacing and bubbling.
--What can I say, an average smell as well.

I am not sure what it is about this beer, but it has something that I like and could drink plenty off. It is probably personal as I spent some time in Australia as a college student, so it probably helps me remember this. It is a nice beer that is good for days of multiple beers.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.54/5  rDev +50.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lager gold, fadey puffy white. 3.75
Clean dusty grain. 3.5
Grain sack, slight tartness, touch of sweet extract, cola syrup end, then vague drying IBUs. 3.5
Light +, dry snappy. 3.75

Does best when it sticks to lager notes. But then weird syrupy bits poke through. Neurotic and artificial, nothing like an English bitter, but not terrible. Be interesting to line this up next to Shiner Bock, another hot weather “dark” beer. 3.5

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Photo of Larry_Moon
3.5/5  rDev +48.9%

Not what you expect from a bitter at all. There is nothing remarkable about its body or flavor but very easy and comfortable to drink. Initially, I had to get past my bitter preconceptions to realize I just enjoy the moreish taste and crispness of this beer. No lingering pallet and a great warm weather beer.

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Photo of MisterSub
3.48/5  rDev +48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now that a few years have passed and my beer tastes have changed, I think I can understand all of the bad reviews of VB.

That being said, I think they're generally over-critical. In the end for me, all the scores should be just for info and the drinkability score should weigh about 90%.

Based on that, I think VB is a decent beer.

It's appearance is nothing special nor its smell.

I don't know if it was my altered state of mind on my honeymoon, but I thought it tasted great. Maybe because it was always about 85 degrees and the beer was ice cold. Maybe because I was so happy watching an Aussie football game. Maybe because I was enjoying being on a GB Reef cruise or on the beach. Whatever it was, I thought it tasted pretty good, had a great mouthfeel and was very, very drinkable.

With that in mind, it's nothing like the microbrews and well-crafted macrobrews that I now enjoy and deserves to be put in the "C" range overall.

I view it as the MGD of Australia but a little more drinkable.

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Photo of GMB
3.47/5  rDev +47.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Carlton Brewery's Victoria Bitter (VB) pours a slightly darker body than most adjunct lagers; I'd say its color approaches amber. A slightly rigorous pour produces a substantial head that sticks around longer than expected.

The nose is pleasant enough for a cheap lager. Sweet grains dominate; hops are barely detectable; a slightly metallic aroma lurks in the background.

The taste is nicer than expected. Bittering hops have been used to nice effect. The beer hangs on the palate longer than one might expect. Lightly toasted grain flavors are complemented by significant bitterness. As far as macro-brewed adjunct lagers go, this is certainly above-average. I'm impressed. The medium mouthfeel and soft carbonation complement nicely.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.43/5  rDev +46%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: so I have finally done a review of VB. This is one of my mainstay standard 'drink while out because it is reasonable and well-priced' options, so take your pick - 375mL bottle, 375mL can, schooner, pint, whatever.

Appearance: pours out a dark amber colour with plenty of carbonation per the style. A one-finger white head hangs about for a time before dropping to a thick cap. Decent.

Aroma: the typical lager aromas of grains, some light grass hops and that's about it. A bit stronger than usual though.

Taste: there are some sweet malts here with a touch of sharp hops. That lasting bitterness for which the beer has been so long a favourite of so many.

Aftertaste: the bitterness lingers somewhat, but for the most part this is a beer to be drunk, not to be savoured.

Mouth feel: a light -to-moderate body with lots of lager carbonation. Brings the flavours forward, and most importantly is an amazing thirst quencher.

Overall: Though Victoria Bitter will probably never be considered one of the world's premium beers, the reason it has been so successful is that it has more flavour than most American Adjunct Lagers, something a bit different with that nice bitterness and is equally as reasonably priced. The final - and arguably most important - reason for its success is that it is one of the most thirst-slaking of Australia's warm-weather beers. a good all-rounder, and pretty hard to beat on value-for-money at AU$42 a case of 24 x 375mL.

 1,463 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.29/5  rDev +40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can picked up from the LCBO, BB date June 2012. I am simultaneously impressed and confused as to how I have managed to avoid reviewing any Aussie beer until now.

Pours a deep golden colour, similar to a glass of apple juice, topped with a fizzy, white, two-finger head that is mostly gone within a minute. A thin, creamy cap remains on the surface, reinforced by the furious stream of bubbles from the bottom of the pint. Surprisingly decent lacing on the sides. The aroma is nothing special, just the typical corny/vegetal adjunct notes interspersed with grains and hay.

Taste is mostly sweet grainy malts, a bit bready with some underlying vegetal notes from the adjunct. A twinge of bitterness in the finish, definitely more than I would expect from an average AAL. Good carbonation; a little lower than average. Flavour gets a bit funky as it warms but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this probably isn't the type of brew to be gradually savoured. No trouble throwing this one back.

After glancing at the aggregate score of this, I was expecting a serious stinker but after tasting it I was a little perplexed and wondered if my tongue was broken. For an adjunct lager, there is nothing seriously out of place here in my opinion. I certainly have no intention of getting this again, but that's mostly price-related. The "bitter" in the name of this brew is pretty misleading, but in the future if I were looking for a bland lager to throw back socially this would be an acceptable choice.

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Photo of jahsausage
3.26/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its a beer that for some reason I am ashamed to like but like it I do. Its basically a watery lager with a hoppy bite but for some reason this appeals to my taste-buds. Apparently its quite popular over the tasman in aussieland but over here in new zealand drinking australian beer is somewhat frowned upon. Especially like it seeing as NZ brewery regulations in the 40s taxed beers over 1035 original gravity making the 4% beer a NZ norm. Luckily not only is VB 4.9% its cheaper than some of the slop our big NZ breweries try to sell (like tui and the lamentable export gold).

 581 characters

Photo of amicar
3.25/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, it seems noody else liked this one much but me...
I have to admit I'm pretty unimpressed with most of the Aussie beers I tried, but for some reason I liked this one more than most people apparently.

Typical golden color with white head that leaves a little trace of itself. Not much to smell, but a little light herbal stuff; the taste is a litle floral and has a nice little bit of bitterness incvolved. Crisp on the tongue and easy enough to drink. I did have a few of these throughout my stay... Never wowed, but never disappointed...

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Photo of chinchill
3.22/5  rDev +37%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Victoria Bitter 4.9% 375ml can in NZ

Aroma: light mix of bready malts and spicy hops

Flavor: Mild; good balance although it is sweet up front and a bit bitter by the finish. The hops
dominate eventually in the mildly bitter and hoppy aftertaste.

Feel: medium-light body; crisp and smooth; good, medium+ carbonation.

O: OK as a decent but cheap and widely available (in NZ) beer.

 386 characters

Photo of Garin
3.16/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Maybe we get a different VB here in Canada. :) It sounds nothing like what I've got here.

It poured a creamy and bubbly head that slowly sunk, leaving nice lacing. Underneath, it was a clear, pale golden yellow with the occasional bubble drifting up. It's a nice looking beer.

The aroma was very light hops with some sweet malt underneath.

The flavour was dry and clean, with a slightly malty accent and a very light grainy sweetness. Finishes with a clean and mild bitter nip. It feels smooth and light in the mouth, with a crisp carbonation.

As far as light lagers go, I have to say this is surprisingly enjoyable. I'd take this any day over a Bud or something like that.

 693 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.13/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle, I get sweet malt,corn syrup and light bitterness another good beer to put down on a really hot day to quench your thirst. Very sessionable.

 152 characters

Photo of Antikythera
3.1/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is not undrinkable. It was only slightly bitter, so if you like bitter hoppy stuff you won't like this. It has a very light flavour and carbonation, and I can see it being pretty refreshing in hot weather. More flavour than your average mass-produced two-four beer. Depending on the price I might pick some up in the summer, or I may just stick with my favourite lagers.

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Photo of ComradeCanadia
3.1/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Total meh. Big head that -vanished- immediately. Generic straw yellow lager appearance. Nothing impressive at all.

Smell: Um, a bit of malt? There's hops too... very generic, nonexistant smell.

Taste: I liked this stuff at first, but as I tasted it more and more, all I began to taste was crappy adjuncts and the signs of a mass produced, crappy beer. I'll still say this would be a GOOD hot day beer, but as it stands, it isn't bad. I prefer this to Molson Canadian.

Mouthfeel: Not too light or watery, pretty much exactly what I like in a lager. Decent carbonation, and a very dry finish without much aftertaste aside from a lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: As I said before, I could drink gallons of this stuff. Good for a hot summer day, or a night of drinking at a bar or the such. Goes down easy, nice and light on the tounge.. and yeah. Exactly what I like in a beer's drinkability.

Notes: Hehe, this is what I get for knowing little about beer. I had no idea VB was basically Australian Budweiser, and I feel sort of ripped off. If this was cheap, I'd buy it regularly for when I need cheap beer... but it's not, so I won't.

 1,162 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.1/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From Saveur-Biere. In Teku glass. After dinner. Biterness reminds cruzcampo, but its more tasty and malty, with some wet herbal notes. Pretty drinkable.

 152 characters

Photo of DocDownUnder
3.08/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, obviously this is not a craft beer. But in terms of its style, I would much rather drink this than Bud or Miller.
It's much sweeter and the cereal grains contribute more flavor, and the yeast doesn't steal the finish. There is a bit of a metallic taste instead of the yeast.
Average, but on a hot summer day or out in the bush you could certainly do worse.

 361 characters

Photo of Toddv29424
3.08/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a traditional golden color with little or no head. Very little smell, but what you can get is of apples like a light cider. The best way to describe the taste is as if you mixed a lager and cider together. It has a little bitterness to it that comes from the hops used. The aftertaste is slightly dry and fruity, like apples. Great for a lot of drinking.

 360 characters

Photo of Franchise
3.03/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is from the "Beers down under" 6 pack from Australia. This offering IMO is the best of the 6 pack poured a golden yellow with a soft white head. The aroma is fresh, somewhat floural, a malty caramel presence is faint. The taste is sweet, more of a mashmallow sugary presence then the nose let on. There is a decent hop bitterness for balance, the mouthfeel is syrupy that surprisingly coats the throat with a bit of bitter grapefruit honey sweetness in the finish.

 469 characters

Photo of saskguy
3.03/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light straw in colour with a big head. Good bubbles through out the drinking process.

A slight malt aroma.

Smooth on the mouth.

Moderate malt flavour with only a hint of hops.

Still have difficulties with a lager being a bitter... So I find it difficult to place the style. An ok hot day beer.

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
2.35 out of 5 based on 323 ratings.
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