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 soju6
2.03/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: From the iconic brown stubby. Pours a clear copper color with a small head and no real lacing.

S: Has that iconic musty aroma of malt sweetness and grain.

T:Taste of malt sweetness with some grain. Mild bitterness and a slightly sticky finish. pretty bland.

F: Light body, mild crispness and kind of boring.

O: One of the better known lagers from down under. Goes best with hot weather. Enough said.

 406 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
2.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Straw coloured body with wispy white bubbles
Smells like super malt with a hint of vegimite lmao

big flat taste the malt hits the tongue like muted sugar and you expect the traditional hops kick, nada but a metallic finish and a cheap wine flirt

fizzy and light
makes a half decent lager or an utterly shit bitter.

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Photo of Gazza
2.05/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Not a good beer whatsoever. Disappointing that an Australian icon like this one is such a bad beer. The bitter taste is way too overwhelming and not balanced or interesting. Needs some nice hops and malts and contrasting flavours to level this out a bit. Really tastes bad in your mouth. Even trying to drink this one really fast too get it over with doesn't work. The taste may not be lingering but it's not a nice feeling in your mouth the moment you take a drink. You will want to pour this one on the garden before you finish and I cannot blame you. Okay it's a working man's beer. The problem is that people drink this religiously and are so faithful they do not even recognise that Carlton and United have stripped down the alcohol content and brainwashed their drinkers as they are only intent on making a profit. What is left is a completely preservative rich and additive rich beer which is completely carbonated and full of chemicals and no longer a natural easy-drinking beer after a hard days work. AVOID. I repeat AVOID (DO NOT BUY A CASE OF THIS, YOU WILL REGRET LOSING YOUR MONEY BUT EVEN MORE, HAVING TO DRINK THIS STUFF). Sorry VB, I wish I could love you.

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Photo of heygeebee
1.61/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

On tap at local RSL.

Oh dear, the Carlton Draught vs VB taste-off.

It looks like beer and has a head and lace, but really not good.

This beer has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Save that it tastes better than Carlton Draught. That metal taste just builds.

Dear dear.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.91/5  rDev +23.8%
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. :^)

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Photo of Everydayoff
2.35/5  rDev 0%
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 dansmcd
1.53/5  rDev -34.9%
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 jazzyjeff13
2.43/5  rDev +3.4%
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 +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.

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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 aeolianshredhead
1.11/5  rDev -52.8%
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.

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Photo of flyingpig
2.23/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -40%
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.

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Photo of Stocean1
2.95/5  rDev +25.5%
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

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Photo of Cawdog
2.23/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -28.5%
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 +20.9%
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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Photo of paxkey
2.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Does not say Victoria Bitter anywhere on Can. only a large VB. 4.6% ABV
proudly australian since 1854.

after cracking the can a quick whiff brings about alot of grassiness. smells a little like sewer gas. strong punguent and initially unpleasant with a sick sweetness if you continue to smell.

poured in a chimay glass. very light colored. pale yellow straw colored. thin white head clings loosely on the top. lots of bubbles and carbonation.

aroma is grassiness and artifical smelling malt. smells like a the generic poorly made euro light lagers.

very thin and light with a sharp carbonation bite.
this hardly tastes like beer. its definitely a malt beverage with no discernable hops. a slight resinous residue at the end which may be hops but no hop flavor or bitterness.

fizzy yellow beer.

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Photo of korguy123
2.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml can into dfh signature glass. Bb date 09/06/2011

A- pale yellow in color, half finger head disappears almost instantly. Carbonation looks minimal. Lacing is non existent.

S- watered down apple cider. Grass, hay, slight pee smell (like going to a bar bathroom)

T- The taste follows the nose quiet well, the pee is replaced by apple skins and copious amounts of mineral water. Very bland. For what it is, it really isn't awful.

M- watery and thin on the tongue. Carbonation is there but not lively enough.

O- Decent adjunct, would be better out of the can on a blisteringly hot day. Would not revisit, but a good alternate choice to the big three.

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Photo of liamt07
1.97/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Can from the Beer Store, 500ml into a pint glass. Best before Sept 6, 2011 printed on the can.

Poured a pale gold, fluffy white head of a few fingers that laces quite a bit. High carbonation is visible. Nose: yowzers. Distinct 'urine' quality, metallic, cooked veggies/corn, lots of grainiess. Taste is very metallic throughout. "Tin-iness" lingers in the finish. Body is full of grain, and really watery. A general sweetness to it, contrasted by an unpleasant bitterness, almost an odd roasty quality at times. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, fizzy; moreso than most soft drinks. An unpleasant macro, had to pound this. I had no other choice, without drain-pouring this.

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Photo of kwjd
2.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear yellow colour with huge white head that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing on the glass. Smells of some grains, a little bit grassy, but very mild overall. Despite the name, the beer doesn't have much bitterness to it. Fairly thin mouthfeel. In terms of bad Australian beer, I think this is better than Foster's.

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Photo of mikesgroove
1.8/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i shall not all out the ba that sent me this one as an extra no matter how funny he was trying to be, but needless to say i had to indulge his joke an try it.

poured into a pint glass the fizzy yellow liquid instantly popped up a nice head of white that quickly faded and left, well fizzy pale liquid. aroma was that of stale corn, wet hay that had been, well lets not go there, it was a mess. each sip was soo light and indescribable it was hard to really put in words. it was just liquified corn and hay, just not needed.

overall fits right in with american macros, just a bad, bad beer.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
1.36/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

VB sucks. I could barely drink it. It was the first adjunct lager I had consumed since starting my daily beer project on the first of the year and I truly believe that I lost even an ironic desire for shit beers in less than two months.

Think soured corn cider, carbonated piss and bum-breath. This beer really put my reason to find a higher-level of meaning via brewing into perspective.

VB, thanks for making me realize I have no room in my belly or Life for beer like you anymore!

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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 NATOuk
2.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and Straw coloured, well carbonated. Head forms and dissipates quickly.

Earthy, grassy smell which isn't strong

Not a particularly strong tasting beer. The initial taste is mostly of the carbonation, the finish has a slight hop bitterness which fades quickly. While not unpleasant, the taste is rather weak.

Light bodied, Pleasant medium carbonation.

This is a disappointing beer as I had heard a lot of good things prior to trying it but I find it tastes rather weak and nondescript. Saying that, it is not unpleasant, it would a good choice for a summer BBQ or hot day where a lager taste would be preferred.

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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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