Zapata Bot - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Zapata BotZapata Bot

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 15.9%
Wants: 42
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co. visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jdiddy on 11-26-2010

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 70
Reviews by Jdiddy:
Photo of Jdiddy
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 60/713 thanks to steve8robin, I am the first to review a beer I have been waiting months to try. This is Gandhi-Bot, aged in Tequila barrels. First thing to blow me away is the color. Almost like a murky, dirty IPA. Pushing brown to be honest. Some floaties and sediment about and one of the finest heads I am yet to see on a beer.

Not a huge nose at first, but I do pick up some hops for sure. First and foremost, you don't pick up a ton of tequila, if any at all. Smells like a nice, spicy hoppy beer, but you know you are in for something different. There is a sweet smell (think pear, etc) in there as well that is fruity and intensifies the aroma. Nose gets amazing as it warms up. Unlike any DIPA I have had.

The taste is very interesting. Imagine a DIPA with pepper notes and spice from the tequila and you just about have it. There is a dryness that comes from the tequila wood as well.

I had this fresh (2 days after on-sale) and I think it would be best right away, however, this could possibly be a DIPA to age. I'd love to see what happens. As the hops mellow, you may pick up more of the tequila.

Seems to me that the tequila barrels added an extra "oomph" to what you normally find in an IPA/DIPA. As for ABV, not sure, but you do feel it halfway through. A great example of what barrel aging and especially, tequilla barrels, can add to a beer. As it warms, all the elements of the barrel are noticeable.

Tastebuds are shot after this one folks as it is an aggressive, spicy beer. Very well done. Seek it out.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
2.51/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for opening this, FosterJM!

(Aged for 1 year)

Hazy golden orange with a moderately sized white head that leaves spots of stick down the glass.

A strange aroma of cactus/tequila, mild citrus character, and sweet, freshly baked bread. I've never been a fan of tequila-barrel aged beers, and this one certainly doesn't make me "see the light."

The flavor is just as strange as the aroma, with the semi-sweet cactus flavor dominating the citrus hop and biscuity malt presence. Strange, and I suppose drinkable, but this style doesn't seem to be aided by any sort of barrel treatment.

Thin to medium bodied with ample carbonation.

No more tequila-barrel aged beers, please.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just got this one yesterday from the brewery. Poured from a 500ml (#239/713) bottle into a Blue Point snifter. Fresh as can be per recommendation of the brewer.

A: Pours a 1 finger frothy white head with some giant bubbles and moderate retention. Beer is semi-cloudy faded grapefruit. Lacing is frothy and web-like with decent legs and retention.

S: Nose is certainly unique. Fruit is pineapple and citrus. A sprinkle of cane sugar sweetness and a touch of piney hops in the back. Overtones of chili peppers and sweet alcohol that I'm guessing are the tequila barrels peaking out. Appetizing and quite aromatic.

T: This beer's a bit hard to understand off the bat. Opens sharp booze, chili, lime, and spice. Piney and citrus hop bitterness in the back migrates to the forefront as the booze slowly fades. Still a bitter chili pepper bite in the back. More lime towards the end. Finish is a spicy hop bitterness that leaves a piney, slightly astringent bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Lively and aggresive in the mouth but smooth and oily going down. The perfect combination. Slightly dry at times with a sharp finish and a filmy, sticky aftertaste.

D: Keeping my fingers crossed that this one becomes a once-yearly release. A very unique beer and unlike any other IIPA I've had. The tequila barrels definitely make their presence known here. Hopefully I'll get a chance to have this one fresh, again, in the future. Worth seeking out!!

Photo of CraigMack61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

This beer is the cat's ass!

Photo of Vonerichs
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Murky brown-orange color with little head. It's actually a pretty pitiful looking beer.

Smell is some citrus hops, and tons of agave nectar, which gives it a sweet smell.

The tequila in this is overwhelming. I was hoping for something that resembled Ghandi-bot, but with a light touch of tequila, but it's more like tequila, with barely a hint of Ghandi-bot. I like tequila, so the taste wasn't bad to me, just not true to style or even slightly resembling an IPA. In fact, I could see how some people will hate this beer. It's hard to give this a score of "average" or below because it's so unique, but I also can't go as far as saying it's "good." The hops barely show at all. It's also boozy. It really tastes like a shot of tequila dropped in an IPA.

Mouthfeel is flat and hot. It has an astringent, dehydrating dry mouthfeel much like a spirit.

I enjoyed it because it is original and would recommend trying it for the experience alone, but I would have no regrets if I never had this again. Kudos to New England for trying this out, but it's not for me.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this on Saturday at Nebco. Bottle 29 out of 713. Have been waiting to try this since the release of Ghandi Bot and after hearing what the guys intended on doing and the tribulations they went through to get a serviceable tequila barrel.

A) Murky orange color, bit of a thin head.

S) Definitely get the hops, again kind of mild no note of tequila in the smell

T) Wow you get the floral hops up front and then a nice peppery taste followed by a bit of a boozy finish (ahh the tequila).

M) Sweet and bitter the hops and the tequila really balance out.

D) Very easy...maybe too much so. Matt had mentioned that this was about 8%.

Definitely a fun beer to try. Very tasty and out of the ordinary. Think I am going to age my other bottle for a bit.

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice fruity hop aroma of grapefruit, tangerines and light tropical fruits. I get light touches of tequila and malt.

The flavor is oddly good as I definitely get tequila with a bit of alcohol. This is a bit malty but very light on feel. At times I taste peppermint but for the most part it's hoppy grapefruit, pine and bitterness.

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At the Splinter Black release. What's wrong with a little tequila at 6 in the morning? I shared it with Stakem and his friends and this is likely bottle 261 also.

A: The tequila-barrel aged DIPA has a coppery amber hue, on the lighter side of that spectrum. A small head came along with the ale.

S: The smell really grabbed me (as the taste soon did too). Citrusy hops are present but not as strong as one would expect from a DIPA. The kicker is at the mid-point through to the finish. A wooden aroma, boozy with that unique sickly tequila smell comes on with a vengeance. The nose is watered down, only slightly mind you, tequila. It reminded me of some awful run-ins with Mezcal and its evil worm.

T: The taste continues the tequilita presence. I use the diminuitive because the tequila has been significantly watered down by the beer. The DIPA offers grassy, citrus hops, strong enough to carry the ale in their own. They run headlong into the barrel's wooden, tequila flavor and, in addition to diluting it, silently fade into the background. The tequila bite is the lingering flavor.

M: A very novel concept, using tequila barrels. The flavor that is left behind is sweet and sharp, a less-hazardous dose of the spirit. This beer is a boundary pusher.

D: I'm not certain that I could handle an entire bottle. Best left to moderation, the tequila is an unusual element that works well. The beer is better than my score suggests.

Photo of berkey
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle marked 26/713. Sampled from a tulip 12/09/10. Not entirely sold on the concept of a Tequila barrel aged IPA but I was excited to get this bottle if only for the name. Thanks again Joe.

Body of this beer is a pale kumquat color. A bright white head rises and promptly settles leaving some decent lace. This bottle was loaded with sediment but a careful pour kept most of it out of the glass.

Aroma consists mostly of the citric and grassy characteristics of the excellent base beer, Gandhi Bot. There's some oak notes hiding in there but at least for now my fears of a intensely tequila spiked beer have been partially assuaged. Now to drink...

Wow, really unique tasting beer. The bitterness is amped up significantly from the base beer but the real story is the strange notes the Tequila barrels added. Wood obviously plays a part but I'm also getting green olives and a light touch of smoke. Toward the end of the glass all I can really taste is the Tequila, they must have used very wet barrels. Can't say I've had anything like it.

Overall an interesting experiment but even as much as I loved chasing my tequila with ale in my early drinking years I'm not exactly clamoring for other brewers to make something similar. Glad I had a chance to try it but put this and the base beer in front of me a dozen times and I'll probably reach for the Gandhi Bot every time.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

such an odd beer, pours out a medium amber with a smooth and even profile, aroma is odd at the least, tequila is warming with hints of light hops and nice touches of alcohol, but the flavor is all over the place, soo hard to describe the mix of the two, never had the tequila before in a beer and definitely different and maybe just not my cup of tea,

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review from old notes, drank fresh. 500 mL bottle 41/713 pours a lightly hazed gold color with a minimal white head. Fades fast and does not leave much lace.

Can definitely smell some musty tequila wood aromas along with some bright fruity hops. Damp grainy malt backdrop.

Wow...unique to say the least. Has an aftertaste similar to tequila - a little catch in the back of the throat. I wasnt sure how a hoppy IPA would taste aged in tequila barrels, but shit, it seems to have worked pretty damn well! Mouthfeel is drying from hops and alcohol, sweetness remains low throughout. Malt stays in the back and is lightly grainy. I have to give NEBC an A+ for creativity, and ended up with a pretty tasty beer to boot.

Photo of oline73
2.55/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this at a tasting hosted by finewinemike. This one was pulled out at the end of the night just for fun. Thanks to Arenbeer for bringing it.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a layer of off white head.

Smell: Tequila with mild malt, some hops and more tequila.

Taste: This beer was a bit old (I guess it has about a year on it). The hops and tequila mixing gave it a bit of a strange flavor. The finish was quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: The flavor of this one was very weird. I'm glad I got to try it, but I don't think I'd head down this road again.

Photo of cwguy5
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sampled 5.13.11. reviewed from notes.

A - hazy yellow/copper color with lots of floaties. not much head, just some off-white swirling. little lacing.

S - agave, light citrus, toast, hops

T - tequila(almost vinous, or white grape), pale malt, hops in background, dry overall

M - light-medium bodied with low carbonation. light bitter aftertaste with some barrel present.

O - unique, good even, but not my thing really. for tequila drinkers and tasting groups mainly.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to FosterJM for sharing this one

Look: Murky orange in color with just under a finger head and ok retention

Smell: Tequila with some citrus hops and a touch of oak the nose doesn't really work for me

Taste: The taste of this beer is just wrong. The tequila is a bit overpowering and does not play well with the citrus hops and finishes with some harsh alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and a bit dry

Overall: I do not like tequila in my beer and I'm not sure why anyone would do this. Just a bad idea

Photo of Arenbeer
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550ML bottle bought at the Brewery poured into a snifter glass. Bottle number 265 of 713

A- Pours a nice golden yellow orange with practically no head just a nice white rim around the glass that ends up as a cluster of bubbles. Insanely sticky alcohol lacing on the sides. Some of the best I've seen for a DIPA.

S- First breath gave me a nice pineapple and citrus fruitiness with a boat load of insane hops like the normal G-Bot. But after giving it one good swirl around the glass you get this really strong but nicely balanced Tequila and alcohol not the blends so well with the hops and fruit.

T- Really nice smooth caramel malts up front that coat the tongue but once it goes down those brutal bitter earthy hops suck the moisture right out leaving you insanely dry and loaded with hop flavor. On top of the bitter is a nice subtle sweet fruitiness much like the smell. After giving it a nice swirl the Tequila and alcohol come out of its cage and hit you just as strong as the hops! But in a good way!!!

M- Medium bodied with moderate to pretty low carbonation and a nice bitter dry finish for a DIPA.

Overall this is probably one of the best barrel aged brews I've come across. The Tequila and hops mix so perfectly together as though they were made for each other. This is just another reason why NEBCO will forever be one of my favorite brewery's!


Photo of GbVDave
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into two glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to ineedabeerhere for the hook-up!

Bottle # 48/713

A: Pours a lovely hazy orange color. Loads of suspended sediment sitting underneath a thinnish wafer of off white head. Some random specks of lace left on the glass.

S: Holy aroma! Tropical hops with loads of oak, agave, dried wildflowers, pears, peaches, and spiced apples.

T: See above. Some caramel and toffee. Heather said she tasted a repisado (aged, not a white) tequila. Lots of barrel flavor.

M: Relatively sticky and some sweetness (initially) with a killer spicy dryness that comes on in the middle and hangs around through the long finish.

D: We loved this (Heather is a big tequila fan) but we both could see how this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. It started to wear a little on me by the end of the glass and I think a 12oz bottle would've been (for me) the perfect serving size to share.

Photo of alcstradamus
2.16/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to Jim for sending me this treat which had not been on my radar.

Pours a murky golden copper with two fingers of head and spotty lacing.

The aroma is quite strong with floral hops and a stinging tequila burn. Not much else to say really, very unique.

The flavor is a bit watery with some floral and earthy hops, lots of bready malts, dry oakiness, and some alcohol burn. I can't say that I can pinpoint tequila as the culprit. The flavor is poor here, there is just nothing positive to note.

The body is medium and the finish is full of acetone.

Overall this one is unfortunately a drain pour. I enjoy tequila so my hopes were high, they just weren't met.

Photo of begforme4484
4.82/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 504/713.

Just stopped in the other day and they still had 3 cases left, so I picked up 2 instead of hitting the 6 limit so other people can have a chance.

I was reading the other reviews and one thing most mention is the lack of carbonation. So with that in mind, I did a really aggressive pour and ended up with about 2 1/2 3 fingers width of really thick and foamy off white head. The big bubbles are having trouble sticking to the glass, but the top of the head, as it recedes slowly, is sticking on the glass very well.

It pours darker than Gandhi-Bot, and looks almost like their Sea Hag IPA. It's a very hazy dark amber with brown in the middle.

The smell, whoa. There's still a fair amount of citrus hops, which G-bot is known for. Pineapple.. lemon.. and very zesty. There's a decent bit of malts there too. But the tequila is what is so striking about the smell. It seems like a signature anejo perfumy smell, but I could be wrong. But without a doubt, there is no mistaking the tequila in this nose, and I LOVE it.

Taste? Gandhi-bot with a wonderful tequila twist! I love hoppy/citrusy IPAs, and I love tequila, this was a match made for people like me :)

Right away I am picking up the sweet and spicy zip of the tequila, and it does taste like tequila. But that fades away into a mellowed out G-bot. Hops are still very prevalent and offer a nice rush of citrus and decent bitterness. Much more malt in this offering, and you can get a hint of some woody/oak tones too. The end of the sip I was hit by a very warming alcohol burn in the throat. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm not complaining either.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and I was lucky to get a bottle that has a good amount of carbonation. It's s dry beer and a bit clingy.

Drinkability is very very good. The flavoring is right on for me, as I love both things represented here. The carbonation is very good, and I would defintely drop the score overall if it were flat.

Bottom line; trade for this beer if you can. For my knowledge it's the first IPA(and I think beer overall) ever aged in tequila barrels. If there are any left at the brewery, go get them.

This stuff is meant to be consumed as fresh as possible.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.41/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by AgentZero at the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago. Served in my Cantillon tulip.

I was really interested in trying this, especially as I really, really enjoy the standard Gandhi Bot. Unfortunately, it's not quite what I hoped it would be. It pours a hazy light tan color without much of any head and a thin collar. The nose brings forward some wood and strong tequila. No hops really here. Don't really know how the decision to use Gandhi Bot as the base really affected anything here. The flavor adds a slight hop presence, but tequila is still what rules here. Mouthfeel is pretty boozy,, but is actually a bit smooth. Drinks okay, but is not particularly good.

Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very light fizzy head fades instantly over hazy grapefruit pink orange color.

Nose has lots or fresh hops, light citrus grapefruit, light pine hops, some oak and woody ethers and light tequila.

Taste has quite a bit of tequila with some booze taste and oak and woody ethers. Pretty bitter with earthy, grapefruit and citrus, and juicy fruits. The oak and tequila really mellow out the bitterness and hops. Slight sweet flavor dries a bit. A long bitter finish with some light tequila lingering a well as citrus and grapefruit.

Mouth is medium bodied with almost no carbonation.

Drinkabilty is ok for what it is, light boozy taste, and thee hops and bitterness are rounded off well. The only real issue is lack of carbonation but I can feel their pain of carbonating barrel aged beers.

Photo of AgentZero
2.7/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Speedway Jim for the trade. Sampled at our post-Christmas tasting in Chicago.

A - Poured a hazy golden/brown color, looked like a slightly richer IPA. Spots on the sides, decent head retention.

S - Well, it definately smells like tequila. Pour agave in there almost, with only a slight bit of hops and citrus. Smells like bad tequila or bad beer, take your pick.

T - Tastes a bit better than it smells thankfully. Citrus hops, some caramel malts, it's not a bad DIPA. Bad finish though, goes back to an alcohol-burn like tequila taste I could have done without.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - I've had worse beers, but I'd say this is a failed experiment. I like Ghandi-bot quite a bit, this is not an improvement. Kickass bottle though.

Photo of KeefD
3.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Knifestyles for this one! 147/713. There's a ton of sediment in the bottom of this bottle, so I poured very slowly showing a golden orange body with no head no lacing. Some sediment made it into the glass, and there's no visual carbonation. Aroma is citrusy with some notes of tequila and a slight woodiness and lots of booze. Yep, this beer is kind of a booze bomb. It's hoppy and bitter, yes, with some citrus/grapefruit/orange flavors, but the alcohol is very pronounced and the light tequila in the background seems to be amplified by the alcohol heat. Body is decent, medium for sure, but there's little to no carbonation. Some bubbles could probably help this thing out a bit. Not a bad tasting beer, and the tequila barrel aging adds an interesting compliment to the hops, but could have used some more life and less sediment. Too flat, too boozy. Good idea, but not well-executed.

Photo of womencantsail
3.27/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for the tick, Bobby.

A: The pour is a clear golden/yellow color with almost no head. On further inspection, this is pretty much flat.

S: There is a rather intense fruitiness to the nose that seems to be of limes, lemons, and oranges. Sort of appropriate for tequila, I guess. There's a bit of pepper, lots of oak, and even more tequila.

T: Again, tons of tequila comes through on the flavor. There's a fair amount of oak, too. Again, lots of citrus fruits like lemons and limes, and especially lemon peel. I get some grass notes in there as well.

M: The body is medium with almost no carbonation whatsoever.

D: I'm happy to say this was nowhere near as bad as I had feared, but I don't think I'm really interested in trying it again. Not really a big fan of this treatment.

Photo of modernartblues
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes

Poured into Duvel Tuplip

A: not much head, but still some lacing, some haze in the golden amber body---carbonation of this bottle was a little light

N: wooden tequila barrels, light hopiness (tropical fruits), a truly unique smell that combines the fruit notes of tequila with the complimentary notes of hops in DIPAs....previous bottles had more of both the hop notes and more straight up tequila-- this could be because of either variations in bottles or the late date of my review of this bottle (2+ months after bottling)

T: oaky notes from the tequila barrels is the principal note with the tequila and the hops in the background--> once again I had other bottles that were more hoppy and another that was more tequila laden....I've enjoyed each incarnation of the beer, but each was a bit of a different beer.

M: light & smooth, kinda ridiculously good considering the intense flavors of the beer

D: a beer to be sipped, but highly enjoyable and could have done another pint or two in the session

Would love to see them do this again, but from what I hear it may take a case of amensia for them to forget the headaches involved in acquiring these tequila barrels

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1061st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
500 Ml

2010 release
Courtesy of Kzoobrew

Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- A very robust orange color with some good oil looking highlights in the glass. A good amount of bubbles still lingered in the glass with a small amount of cling.

Smell- I wasn’t sure how this one would go over but the tequila was quite tamed after sitting for so long. It was aromatic but not punchy. It had tequila, citrus, malt and a tad bit of a floral note to it.

Taste- Well this was better than I thought. The base beer is a very good DIPA in its own right and this treatment really changed it up. The flavors were a bit sticky with a good malt presence and then faded into a small bit of alcohol with a tiny bit of floral notes.

Mouth- A good bit of a medium body behind this one with a medium carbonation. Left behind a good amount of booze, floral and citrus notes.

Drink- Huge thanks to Kzoobrew for sending out this limited bottle. It was a big hit and I can say I really did enjoy it a lot. Layered, well crafted and holding up well IMO.

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Zapata Bot from New England Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.