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

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Victoria Bitter (VB)Victoria Bitter (VB)
330 Ratings
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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Ratings: 330 |  Reviews: 149
Photo of BrazilianAussie
2.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
1.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
2.91/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours a light gold with a 2 finger head of foam and leaves some lacing. A pretty good looking brew.

The smell is of corn, grain, and a nondescript bitterness.

The taste isn't bad up front; there's a decent balance between the corn and grainy sweetness and a light bitterness. On the back end it does get a bit too corny and sweet but overall, it's not that bad. Some compliment for a beer, eh?

Usual carbonation and body for the style, it's easy drinking. It might have been even better before the best by of Aug 2011. :^)

 528 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
2.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of likeemdark
2/5  rDev -17%

Photo of galluch
2.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Everydayoff
2.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle poured into a pint glass by freshness date.

Pour a clear rather dark golden color with average white head but short retention. It fades into thin bubble film on the surface with wee lacing, medium visible carbonation.

Adjunct cereal, grain, corn with hint of some dry malt.

Dry grain with some malt trait also slight metallic, hop is mute. The body is medium with soothing carbonation, smooth. Finish is dry.

Not all over bad but still could not consider as worthy. No go for serious drinker.

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Photo of Robje
1/5  rDev -58.5%

Photo of jjkatter
2/5  rDev -17%

Photo of cdwil
2.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dansmcd
1.53/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Clear and pale straw coloured, for a second there is even a few bubbles that could possibly pass for a head. Or not.

S - Slight grass, lemon, bucketloads of chemicals.

T - Again, faint lemon and grass flavours absolutely assaulted by metallic foulness and horrible chemicals.

M - Water thin and highly carbonated.

O - Hells bells this is some downright terrible stuff. Such a shame that so many people, here and overseas, think of this stuff when you say Australian beer.

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Photo of birchholz
2/5  rDev -17%

Photo of kfourte
4/5  rDev +66%

Photo of Raebies
2/5  rDev -17%

Photo of IanRiley
2/5  rDev -17%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.43/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 375ml stubby bottle with a BB of Sept 2011 - so just out of date. Picked up cheap from my local off-licence.

Poured into a standard pint glass. A clear pale gold hue with some floating sediment and medium carbonation. Produces a small head of white foam that disappears almost immediately. Faint aroma of light malt with a stale, musty note in the background.

Tastes of light malt with a mild hint of stewed leaves. No depth to the flavour, and an acrid note lingering on the finish. Mouthfeel is watery and thin, with tingly carbonation. Leaves the palate slightly dry, with an unpleasant stale aftertaste.

Poor, even for industrial lager. Watery and tasteless. It might be that this is a bit old, but I'm not gonna rush out and get more to double-check. Avoid.

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Photo of DocDownUnder
3.08/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.29/5  rDev +36.5%
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 aeolianshredhead
1.11/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Here it is: one of the main offenders to the Australian beer industry, VB itself. I do have fond memories of my friend and I stealing our respective father's supply of this and drinking them in the backyard when we were younger, but as a beer itself? How does it compare?

A- It has that extremely fake appearance sported by most Aussie macros. This is cheap and factory assembled. An aggressive pour gets a miniscule head, which vanishes but for a blotch on top. The carbonation loses its bite quickly as it becomes stagnant and tepid.

S- Judging a book by its cover works when smelling this beer. It smells as it looks: artificial. Basically, some kind of awful, out of place sweetness assaults my sense of smell. The worst part is, I really can't tell what is causing this scent. Is it malt? God no. Is it hops? I sincerely doubt that. Whatever it is, smells like it should definitely not be there.

T- To this beer's credit, it is very consistent from nose to palate. That is most certainly not a desirable thing, though. This tastes quite rank. That saccharin-esque sweetness is horribly discernable throughout and leaves a sickly feeling on your tongue. Also, it finishes with the dreaded and most feared of all things- POR. I prefer the taste of XXXX to this and believe me, that is saying something.

M- It's bloating, gassy, abrasive and watery. These are not good things, people. The fizziness just does not work here. This is a true pain to drink.

O- As I expected, VB is a disgrace to the great name of beer. People, if you want refreshment, go for a hefeweizen.

 1,576 characters

Photo of flyingpig
2.23/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Mild amber with decent head retention. Lots of grain in the taste & the smell and pretty poor overall really. Much like every other mass-market pale lager but with a strong bitter taste on the finish. Not a beer I'd recommend.

1001 Beers To Try Blog:

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Photo of doktorhops
1.41/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

It is with a sense of foreboding that I arrive at my least favourite of all beers: VB. Well I figured I'm going to try review every beer I can get my grubby little hands on (actually my hands are quite clean and average sized). Without further ado; as I would rather not have any ado for this dreaded brew, I bring you the VB review... err, spew.

Poured from a 375ml can (or "tinnie") into a cheap, cheap 500ml pokal (no use tainting my nice glassware).

A: This is the probably the only good thing I will say about VB; it has a decent enough translucent amber body. There was a centimeter white head which fizzled down to nothing, leaving ne'er a trace of lace.

S: Smells like a trash bag full of musty grains and corn that had been left in the cupboard to dry for three months... with a hint of sugarcane sweetness. No hops. None.

T: Tastes as bad as I remember it, so at least they've managed some consistency over the years; the front palate has elements of a cider without the goodness of apples, it's slightly sweet with a mineral water element, but in the back notes is where it really messes with (and promptly takes a crap on) your taste buds; the hops in this beer give it a tangy bitter bite without any herbaceous or fruit characters and you are left with this aftertaste not unlike the one you would get if you licked a damp sewer rat.

M: Watery and far too fizzy.

D: I'm not exactly sure how to describe how much of a disaster this beer is... it fails epically on so many levels... just to illustrate how bad VB really is here is a list of colloquial names that this brew is called across our fine nation: "Vomit Beer", "Visitors Beer" (for the plethora of migrants who drink it), "Green Death", "Dirty Rotten Vic" or my personal favourite "Vaginal Backwash". You have been warned!

Food match: Slightly raw sewer rat with sautéed cat hair balls if we were going for a flavour profile match, otherwise to save your taste buds from the trauma of VB I would recommend the hottest buffalo wings you can find... trust me on that.

NB: First beer I've reviewed that I had to tip down the sink because I couldn't finish it.

 2,138 characters

Photo of Stocean1
2.95/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - one finger white head on a yellow straw body, little rention or lacing

S - grainy and a faint malt

T - grain, hint of bitterness, dry biscuit, metallic twang

M - light body, lots of carbonation, some bitterness

O - a very ordinary brew, could be worse but not worth seeking out

 285 characters

Photo of Cawdog
2.23/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: It doesn't look that bad, a golden colour with an acceptable head, but still pretty ordinary.

S: off grains, slightly metalic.

T: slightly sweet, metallic aftertaste. It does, however, have a very distinct flavour, and more flavour than Carlton Draught.

M: Carbonation is very high, and the body is thin too.

O: It is iconic, and acceptable when ice cold on a hot day, it has an endearing quality in that respect, but not the sort of beer you'd sit down to savour. There are certainly worse beers going around.

EDIT: This beer has been 4.6% ABV for a few years.

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Photo of
1.68/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - pale yellow with a finger of white head that very quickly dissipates to a frothy ring. Noticeably large carbonation bubbles that rise aggressively, giving the beer the look of ginger ale.

Smell - very sweet adjunct aromas, no trace of hops aroma or malty complexity.

Mouthfeel - light bodied and aggresively carbonated.

Taste - Sweet malt and that's about it. Perhaps a little bit fruity, a bit cidery. Faint trace of hops, but so faint that I could have imagined it.

This is not bitter. It's not a bitter. It barely even tastes like beer.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.84/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

That's right, it's not a typo. A wonderful extra from excellent trader MrKennedy. I specifically requested a couple of these because I want to feel the full Aussie Metalhead effect!!! THRASH!!!

By the way, I love the band Coheed and Cambria and after seeing them again last night, I have even more respect for the talent of Claudio Sanchez...If someone doesn't find a way to put out a solo acoustic album with him, I'll finance the freaking thing myself!!!

This beer is exactly what you'd expect from the biggest selling beer in any particular region, but this screams Aussie Thrash Metal party!!! Put on some Abominator and grill up some fat burgers!!! Thrash!!!

It's clear....It's cold...THAT'S SOME HIGH QUALITY H2O!!!

Look, you're not gonna wow anyone with this, but it sure goes down quick and has a surprising amount of flavor for what basically amounts to an AAL (American Adjunct Lager, for those not into the acronymics)...In fact, I have to say I prefer this to most BMC style stuff...And I'll bet it's cheaper than good water in some parts of the world, so there you go...

What I like most: Hey, what's NOT to love?? THRASH!!!

What I like least: Hey, who said this was high-falutin' stuff? Not me, that's for sure...THRASH!!!

Verdict: Never tries to be anything it isn't, and I'll bet you can get a case for less than a nice steak. THRASH!!!!

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Victoria Bitter (VB) from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
Beer rating: 2.41 out of 5 with 330 ratings