Verboten | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
319 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Zotten, but taken off the market in Feb 2010 in a copyright infringement agreement between Weyerbacher and Bierbrouwerij De Halve Maan.

Added by dborginis on 05-20-2010

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 741
Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Mr. Goodbar's. Some yeast aroma. White soapy head on light orange body. Medium mouthfeel. Smooth, and spicey, corriander, a little cloves and pepper.A little bannana. A little hoppy and drying in the finish. An average beer overall, likely better with food.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head with nice retention on a cloudy golden amber body

S: musty and slightly pungent yet cirtusy hops and yeast. A very mild fig and apricot note as well. some mild pale malts.

T: more like a saison in terms of the yeast and fruitness (banana) profile with clove and spice. the hops are less available in the flavor and mostly provide herbal and candied citrus notes however the hop content is of the right degree for the style.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate to high carbonation. semi dry finish.

Overall: A nice representative of the style which seems to be sweeter than others I have had. Drinkability is good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has changed names at least twice and I'm hoping it is going to stay with what they have it named now. This beer pours out as a hazy yellowish gold color with a strong head on top. The smell is like a mix between and belgian triple and a german wheat beer with some hops mixed in. The beer tastes pretty refreshing. The flavors are of clove, wheat bread, spicy hops, and some soft fruits. The mouthfeel is quite carbonated and keep this beer alive.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at d.b.a., Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and poured with a thin ring of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast in the nose along with some hints of pale malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavors of pale malts are a bit stronger and there are only notes of fruity yeast and some hints of sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has little if any carbonation.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink and a good representation of the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Delicious and fruity, this classy American brewed Belgian-style ale has a simplistic overtone has a sweeter and more estery fruit flavor mix compared to Belgian exports.

Starting with a very froathy light amber color, the beer carries a mild yeasty haze, a blanket of ivory-white foam that lasts well into the session while lacing all the while. A very creamy looking ale with perhaps more visual weight than preferred.

Honey and banana notes give first impressions in aroma. The malt character of light grain, honey, bready, wheat, and light biscuit give a rich and sweeter aroma while the esters of citrus and tropical fruits give a roundness to the sweeter nose. Lightly spicy with tea-like herbs, white pepper, and bitter orange peel, the beer seems to balance toward the sweetness.

The delicious sweetness of honey, powdered sugar, and soft sweet breads set the tone in taste while complementary fruity esters of oranges, banana, appricot, lemon drops, and white grapes help to reinforce the sweetness and offer roundness and support. Mild herbal hop notes seem like sweet tea, lemongrass, and marmelade before turning lightly bitter in finish. With a spicy yeasty flavor of white pepper, corriander, and mild detergents, the phenolic balance is unsettled and could use more development to balance the beer.

Quite creamy from start to finish, the sweeter and richer tone is unexpected, prefering a drier, zestier, and more spritzy carbonation and prickle instead. But the beer struggles toward dryness late as the alcohol and hop resins can only take it so far, leading to a semi-dry finish.

The aftertaste of honeysuckle, spices, and wheaty grains has a whisp of evaproative taste that extends into the next sip. All culminates in a sweeter and less complex Belgian ale than what's offered from authentic Belgian breweries, but this beer compares well with others brewed in the U.S. like Ommegang BPA or even Belgian brewed Leffe Blonde.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a reasonable head that does a fine job providing a lace curtain

Smell: Bready with a spicy herbal character; apple and pear fruit elements and some phenols

Taste: While there is a hint of breadiness, up front, it doesn't take long for the Belgian character to arrive, bringing apples, pears and spicy phenols; by mid-palate, a surprising level of Germanic hop character joins the profile, too; after the swallow, the herbal elements dominate, brining phenols into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately high carbonation

Drinkability: A little too much phenol character for my palate, but this is a decent stab at the style for a domestic brewer, and one that verges on Belgian IPA territory

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a bright golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry hops with some nice light fruity ester and some grain is also noticeable. Taste is also a very nice mix between some cereal and dry hops with a light fruity touch in the finish - I very much appreciated the hops presence and this was somewhat reminiscent of DDC Dernière Volonté thought a notch below overall.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden/orange color with a one-finger, khaki colored head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty with a touch of caramel.

T - It tasted fruity with green apple. Nice sweet flavors with a yeasty, spicy bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a really tasty Belgian Pale Ale. Another great brew from Weyerbacher.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to ChrisPro as part of Blind BIF 4. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pour yields a light copper-colored brew. Very, very short white head without much retention. Nothing else comes of the foam other than a very thin collar. The nose brings some light clove character along with a bit of bread-crust malt. The taste falls through with many of the same characteristics and then hit a bit of bitterness toward the end and in the finish. Fairly plain, other than the clove character. Bit of light floral hops. The feel is light and undercarbonated. Slight bitterness again in the finish along with a bit of alcohol. Drinkability is decent, though nothing too special here.

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Photo of mothman
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Old school Zotten Labeled

Poured into chalice.

Pours over a finger of khaki head. Color is a dark orange hued gold. Good head retention leaving a solid lace ring after every drink I take. This was definitely the best part of the beer.

Aroma: Earthy and herbal. Fairly hoppy for what I was expecting. Some spices. Lemons and pepper. A bit grassy.

Taste: More lemons and pepper. Straight up. Lemonade with a dash of pepper is the best way to describe this beer. Odd. Earthy with herbal notes. Grassy. Spiced.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and spiced. Medium bodied with good amount of carbonation. Ends kind of dry.

Overall, an odd beer. Nothing too special. The pepper and spice really throw this beer off from making it something I may actually like. Not really for me.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white head, resting on top of a dark gold body with excellent clarity. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves average lace.

S - Strong, fruity aroma of banana and juicy fruit gum. Some vanilla and pineapple come out once the bubble gum subsides. There is also a spicy, herbal hop note in the background.

T - Bread malt and bubble gum up front with a very intense note of clove. Some spicy yeast notes in the middle with more banana and the beginning of an herbal hop flavor. Finishes with more of the crusty malt and fruity hops as well as intense hop bitterness that interacts with the clove flavor in an odd way.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - This beer displays a lot of promise in the aroma, but ultimately fails to deliver on it. There is a lot of banana and bubble gum as well as a huge, medicinal clove note. While there are some of the vanilla and soft fruit notes that would be more appropriate to the style, they are ground down under the assault of the other yeast flavors. The hops are also a bit blunt. There is a nice herbal note in the aroma and a similar character shows up in the flavor, the bitterness is excessive and exhibits a harshness that is amplified by the medicinal clove. Overall, the beer looks good and smells nice, but totally comes apart in the flavor. I'll finish this one, but I won't be drinking it again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Use to drink this from time to time when it was still called Zoten, but just as good still.

A: Light creamy head that fades quickly, light golden amber pale color with pretty good clarity.

N: Nose has a light Belgian quality with some sweetness maybe candi sugar.

T: Taste is light and ambery but has some Belgian sweet candi sugar and a slight bitter aftertaste, it has a slight tangy quality.

M: A light to medium body that speads over the tongue with decent carbonation.

F: It finishes a little sweet and bitter and lingers, makes you smack your mouth a little, not bad, but could be better I think, the two main flavors, Belgian malts and hops, seem to clash, not enough Belgian and too much hops IMHO.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully poured to leave the yeast behind, Zotten displays a crystal-clear orange body beneath a creamy head of white. The head retention is good, and it leaves some very nice jagged lines of lacing about the glass.

The aroma is quite perfume-like, combining a strong floral side with some phenols and sweet malt, a bit of spiciness, and possibly a bit of alcohol.

The flavor follows suit, and it's the yeast and hops that carry this beer. What malt lies beneath it is just a springboard for the more complex, yet etheral, flavors. It's delicate, but it has a real presence to it. Spiciness acts as both an anchor and driving force, helping to lift it into the air, but also keeping it from becoming sweetish. Beyond that, a firm bitterness helps keep it focused.

Unlike quite a few American attempts at Belgian-styles, it's not overdone. Some may mistake that as lacking flavor, but that's off the mark. There's just enough malt to it, and it's a bit "sweetish", but that's just one component that quickly passes before it moves on. Interesting. Intriguing, in fact. It keeps you looking for more! A unique ale!

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Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk chalice.

A: The deep amber liquid was fully covered by a short, dense and creamy tan head that had excellent retention and left my glass fully coated when tilted.

Above The aroma features banana/clove yeastiness, some alcohol esters, bready malt and some peppery spice, It's complex and rich, and seems to change every time I lift the glass. The flavor has more fruit and less pepper than the nose indicates. Moderate bitterness.

Excellent mouthfeel: Creamy smooth with very good carbonation (perhaps a tad aggressive) and a pleasantly full body.

O: True Belgian quality and character (allowing for some American hops) in an ale from Pennsylvania. [4.25]

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Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with several big frothy fingers of of eggshell-white head. This retains with a firm 1/2 finger that leaves a foamy cascade of lace behind which slowly recedes down the sides of the glass. The aroma is heavy and sweet in the nose from a mix of bread and fruit. A deep spiciness gives this a strong zesty tang. This just smells very tangy and warm overall.

The taste is toasted bread and fruit, with a strong gritty herbal character and bitter citrus rind across the back of the profile. Lots of spice here (probably a bit overly so) and yeast really dry the back of this out good. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a certain amount of sharpness across the tongue but the majority of the feel is mostly thick and beefy with alcohol.

This was OK at first but as it warmed a lot of alcohol started to show itself. Much more than I would have thought for an only 6% beer. The heavy combo of sweetness, spice, and warmth just didn't work me here the way that I had hoped.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out spicy and a little fruity with flavors of pepper, coriander & citrus. Then a strong Belgian yeast breadiness and a hearty malt character come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly spicy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, I wasn't really sure what to expect with this beer but was pleasantly surprised to find that the spice content wasn't overdone and that this was a decent beer overall.

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Photo of mactrail
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice head on a lovely golden ale. Nose is fragrant and reminds me of a Saison.

Initial flavor is a hint of liquorice, which also comes through in the nose. Mellow malts are a tasty prelude to the hops, which come on very strongly. As you sip it changes, which I think is the mark of a good Belgian, the shape shifter. And it has the Umami flavor, the "meaty" taste the Japanese like, which I've encountered in the Biere de Mars style. But the sharp tang, a hint of malt sweetness, and a dark bitter undertone make it quite satisfying.

This is a good combination of the hoppy crispness of a Pale Ale with the complex funk of the Belgians. Very drinkable as a beer to savor slowly.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured an amber color with a slight haze, and a moderately-lacing white head. Bready, yeasty aroma, with fragrant fruit notes, slightly phenolic, but tolerable at that. Similar taste: bready, spicy Belgian yeast, pears, apple skins, with a drying hop sensation following. Medium body, a bit chewy, and nicely drinkable. Not something I'd go out of my way for though.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snatched up a 4-pack of Zotten for $7.49 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia. I've typically enjoyed most of the Weyerbacher product I've had, so hopefully this'll hit a home run for me even if I'm not a sick, sick child dying in the hospital.

Appearance: Pours out a dark, orange-amber body with a frothy, though somewhat short-lived, bone white head.

Smell: Pale malts and light, crisp wheat malt brushed with a light, sweetish caramel sauce. Boldly spicy, zesty scent of fresh-ground pepper along with notes of Dubble Bubble bubblegum and citrus with some pine awakening upon warming.

Taste: Pale malts and wheat coming across as a taste of particularly grainy whole wheat (but wholesome) bread. Light touch of sweet caramel glaze. Already there's a zip of peppery spiciness and flavor of bubblegum. Lesser hint of banana. Pinch of Florida orange citrus pith and a few drop of pine resin with a medium-plus amount of hop bitterness. A bit of watercress late in the taste. Dry, earthy, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Why, that's generally likable! Plenty of flavors and complexity to keep me fairly well-entertained, but, thankfully, it's easy-going on the overall ABV. I do look forward the three remaining bottles!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Polished pumpkin with a lustrous luminescence when backlit with radiant morning sunshine. The incredibly creamy crown is more ecru than alabaster. It almost looks good enough to be called Belgianesque, something that rarely occurs with Belgian-style beer brewed in America. An attractive array of tattered lace graces the glass.

The aroma is pretty close to classic for the style. I used those words because this Belgian pale ale uses American hops (Centennial and Cascade). Their citrusiness takes a backseat to what smells like an incredibly estery yeast strain, though that's fine with me. Warming brings out even more boldness.

This is fantastic beer that reminds me of one of the all-time great ales in this corner of the country (or anywhere else for that matter). New Glarus Dancing Man Wheat is a kick-ass hefeweizen that uses American hops and does so in gobsmacking fashion. Zotten isn't quite that special, but it is a marvelous marriage of the Old World and the New World.

The mouthfeel is more than fine and has picture perfect carbonation that adds sparkliness to a flavor profile that is already as zippy and zesty as all get out. That said, no one who knows better would mistake it for having been brewed in Belgium.

Zotten is Belgian/Flemish for 'fools'. Anyone who loves Belgian-style beer that is insanely drinkable would be foolish not to seek this one out. I'm amazed at how many styles (from a multitude of countries) that Weyerbacher does well. Slam Dunkel and this beer are perfect examples.

*reviewed on 10-25-2009

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Specific Gravity. Review from notes.

A: Pours a hazy orange with a small white head with no retention, leaving a very small ring on top. No lacing at all.

S: Lots of orange and banana with plenty of wheat. There is a little bit of grassy/floral hops along with plenty of spice. Faint bubble gum as well.

T: Much more banana on the flavor profile mixed with a bunch of cloves. Some grain and wheat come forward as does some light caramel and some more more bubblegum.

M: Light to medium bodied, active carbonation.

O: Liked this one a good bit actually. Easy drinking with a fruit forward flavor profile.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

golden amber in color with a nig head of white on top that only slowly faded as the session wore on, dropping tons of lace up and down the sides of the glass. Richness to it that looked just fantastic as it warms up. Aroma of light fruit touches, hints of a light grassy touches, maybe pine. Apples and grape skin start to come to the front as it warms up and it gets a very complex touch to it. Smooth, even flavor here, really quite wonderful. Light and airy on the palate, the carbonation is spot on. Light touches of apples and bananas, hints of light peach and a delicate touch of grape are all coming out at me. Nice bready and grainy touch to it now as well, really again very well done.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this up at Thirsty's in East York, PA.
Poured chilled into a goblet.

A - Dark honey amber w/ a pale 2 finger cap w/ a fine bead. Subtle lacing and a film remains when the head settles.

S - Slightly phenolic aroma w/ spice and fruit notes in equal measure w/ a Belgian yeast nose that has slight banana esters

M - Mild spiciness w/ mild carbonation and slightly bitter feel w/ a dry finish

T - A mild hop is nestled under a spiced yeast flavor w/ mild tropical fruit note from the yeast w/ a gentle sweet flavor from the malt. A light biscuit influcence is tasted toward the end

D - A good belgian pale, but a flavor that didn't wow me. I wish it had mor malt & hops than yeast. The drinkability was average to me, I would try it again if I saw it on tap.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large chalky white head. Leaves lots of spotty lace. Foamy. Slightly hazy in an otherwise amber broth.

Sweet, almost like maple syrup, smell. Lots of sugar and candy with a faint amount of Belgian yeast in the background.

More dry than the smell indicates. Quite chewy. Very short aftertaste. Low level of hop bitterness. Still, it works in terms of balance. The swallow shows up a higher alcohol level than the ABV would indicate. In a word, I'd describe this beer as enigmatic.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beers BIF. Here goes: It pours a hazy light amber topped by a nice finger of off-white fizzy foam. The nose is fruity: lime, grapefruit, orange, banana; yeasty; spicy: pepper, clove, coriander (maybe). Let's add a bit o' wet hay for the hell of it. The taste is heavy on the Belgian spiciness: pepper, cardamom, rye, clove; some sharp piney hops, some banana, and some orange peel finish things off. The body is pretty light, with an active-ish carbonation and a crisp finish. A very nice BPA, though the hops and spices don't seem to get along all too well, deciding instead to clash. Beyond, that, though, a solid offering.

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Verboten from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 741 ratings.
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