True vs. Viking Beverage Centers (Reviews/Ratings)

Mark Bennett  |  February 20, 2015  |  3 Min. Read

Viking  |  Undercounter Refrigerators  |  True Refrigerators

Start finding answers in our Resource Center full of videos, buying guides, and checklists

Learn More

Beverage centers are the most popular choice for under cabinet refrigeration.

If you have a need for extra refrigeration and a few wine bottles, then the beverage center is designed for you.

Freestanding vs. Built-In Refrigerators

There is definite quality and price differences with both.

Freestanding tends to be plastic whereas built-in is all metal. The shelving is better as well. The built-in has a static compressor in the front, which allows it to be installed between cabinets.

The freestanding unit cannot be placed between cabinets, because the compressor is on the back. It will overheat and seize the unit.

Let's look at True and Viking...

True

True has been in the refrigeration business since 1945. Most people would recognize the name because of their commercial background. Many supermarkets, convenience stores, bars and restaurants have used True commercial products. Commercial products tend to be more reliable, because the loss of refrigeration in a supermarket can be catastrophic.

They now have a residential division and products include beverage centers, refrigerators, refrigerator drawers, wine only storage, and beer dispensers. They produce a 24 inch unit with some nice features including an all stainless steel interior and zero clearance hinging for integrated, seamless installation.

LED lighting can be changed from white to amber to blue with the touch of a button and a forced air refrigeration system to allows a quick cool down and an even temperature throughout. You can buy additional glass shelves or slide out wine shelves as accessories and change it to a wine cooler.

True offers three different finishes for their beverage center, a stainless trimmed glass door, a custom panel glass door, or a full overlay door. The full overlay will have no glass, with the panel covering the entire front of the unit. Pricing ranges from $2,949-$3,149.

true undercounter beverage center TBC-24R-OG

Finish options:

  • TBC-24-R-SG-A / Glass/stainless / $3,149
  • TBC-24-R-OG-A / Glass/custom panel / $2,949 (shown)
  • TBC-24-R-OP-A / Full custom panel / $,2949

Viking

Viking was a private company founded by Fred Carl in the 80’s. Best known for their professional range, they do offer a full refrigeration line. Many of their products are actually sourced and produced by other companies. Their freestanding refrigerators are produced by Whirlpool and most of their dishwashers are being manufactured in Turkey by Blomberg.

Viking was recently sold in 2013 and is now part of the Middleby Company, the parent company of mostly commercial cooking and refrigeration products. The beverage centers are now being produced for them by Perlick. They were being built by Marvel and will probably be built by U-Line in the near future. Middleby just purchased U-Line, so it's an educated guess.

Like the True, the Viking models are stainless inside and have LED lighting. The lighting is not as adjustable as the True, but it does offer a similar forced air system for rapid cooling and a consistent temperature throughout. The Viking models are available in both 15 and 24 inch widths and must be ordered hinge specific. They are stainless only, and do not allow for any type of custom panel.

viking undercounter beverage center VCBI1240Finish options:

  • VBCI1240 / Stainless/glass / 24 inch width / $3,100 (shown)
  • VCBI1150 / Stainless/glass / 15 inch width / $2,800

Viking vs. True Beverage Centers

I like both. Both are solid. If you want to panel, then True becomes your choice by default as does a 15 inch with Viking.

However, True offers convertability if you want to store all wine and zero degree hinge that does not protrude from the cabinet. It is rated for outside use (probably not this winter in Boston, just a joke for Bostonians). Its overall construction is that good. I like its commercial heritage. As I said before, the product has to be reliable to be placed in a supermarket.

Recommended Reads

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Undercounter Refrigeration Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the brands. Over 80,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide

WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett has over 10 years of experience at Yale Appliance + Lighting. Mark began working in the delivery and warehouse departments before transitioning to appliance sales.

Schedule a showroom visit with me

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

Suggested Articles