Verboten | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
740 Ratings
Read the review

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 740 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of WCBCFrank
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Verboten poured a clear,amber in my goblet. Not as big of a white head as I expected. Lots of yeasty Belgian spice fills your nose, light zesty mouthfeel, nice going down, although I have had better Belgian style Pale Ales. Banana and citrus are promenent. It certainly has a malty Pilsnet type grassy base. Good amount of hops which provides nice bitterness.

I bought a whole case of this stuff back in Aug. Really good up until Oct., not impressed with the aging of this.

 475 characters

Photo of jrallen34
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle drank from a tulip...Pours a clear and gold, almost copper, very dark for the style. A light off white head rises with good retention and great lacing. Looks good, weird coloring though...TONS of yeast on the nose, nailed the Belgian yeast perfectly. Its strong, almost overpowering as its hard to pull anything else out. Light lemons...The taste is yeasty, but off, lots of alcohol comes through, medicinal, distracting. Not my favorite.

Below average Belgian pale ale.

 483 characters

Photo of morimech
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy golden color with a small head that hung on for awhile before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Quite a bit of hops in the aroma. Earthy and herbal. Nice yeast qualities give some spice. Pale malt lends some breadyness and sweetness. The taste is bordering on Belgian IPA territory with the hop presence. More bitter than sweet. Hints of grass, yeast spice, with a slight herbal, medicinal finish. Lighter body with lively carbonation that makes the flavors really pop. Not harsh at all. A different take on the style with a bit of the Weyerbacher charactor.

 608 characters

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really fell for Merry Monks so I thought I'd give another Weyerbacher a try. A knowledgeable guy at Hop City in Atlanta recommended Verboten. It poured a beautiful golden/copper color with a thick, foamy head that lasted the entire beer and the stickiest lacing imaginable.

The smell is of some faint pale malts, citrus hops and a fruity Belgian yeast. The taste is a contest between the bitter hops and the fruity yeast with the hops coming out on top. To me it's more BIPA than BPA. Tasty!

The mouthfeel is light with low to medium carbonation. Verboten is highly drinkable and the relatively low ABV only adds to its tendency to have another one right away. I went through this 6-pack in less than a week. I'll get this one again real soon. Kudos to the wonderful brewers at Weyerbacher.

 794 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is citrusy hops, lemon peel, Belgian yeast, bananas, and coriander. It tastes like peppery spice, bananas, citrus, yeast and some grain. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. Drinkability is decent enough, it's smooth and enjoyable. Not a bad overall brew, I certainly wouldn't turn one down.

 486 characters

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.

 689 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a clear, dark straw color with a 2-fingered, silky head. Disappears a bit quickly and leaves very little lacing. For a bottle that claims it's bottle conditioned, I see little if any yeast in the pour.

S - Smell is of pale hops, orange, coriander, and Belgian yeast. Very fresh and floral with hints of peppery spices, cloves, and some banana on the tail-end. Pretty typical of a Belgian Pale but that's not a bad thing.

T - Taste is crisp and a bit spicey. Getting the citrus and fruity notes up front, then the hops and finally a bit of a warming alcohol. Some bitterness at the end that shows up as the beer warms.

M - Mouthfeel is light and warming. Unfortunately I feel this one could definitely benefit from more carbonation. Just feels a bit flat in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The flavors are great and all the senses are excited when drinking it, but it kind of tastes muddled as it warms and isn't dry enough to erase the bitterness and alcohol after drinking most of the bottle.

 1,051 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10/20/2010:

12 oz. bottle at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a hazy, burnt orange with an inch of creamy and highly carbonated head. Ah, the genius of bottle conditioning!

S: It smells like lemon, banana, pepper, and the lovely Belgian yeast character.

T: It consists of tangy citrus flavors, spicy yeast, cereal grains, and a little bit of berry flavor.

M: It is leaning more toward the cereal grains at the end with a light mouthfeel.

D: It is usually tough to expect much from American breweries when it comes to Belgian styles (except for Ommegang and Russian River) but this is way up there.

 622 characters

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

Poured into a tulip glass.

Opaque orange apricot color with some floaties in it (bottle conditioned).

Good sticky lacing around glass - looks classy.

Aroma reminds me of delicate floral and light citrus - like an orange blossom.

Taste is very bitter hops and strong yeast character - this beer has achieved what it set out to do.

Very carbonatious - pleasant foamy mouthfeel and easy to quaff.

I would not drink this beer by itself but pair it with a beef stew or something as robust in flavor.

 500 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack I bought at Beer Run in Cville.

Appearance: Clear, bright, orange amber. A tiny bit of yeast sediment didnt make it into my tulip. Big white head with good retention and OK lacing. Good looking beer.

Smell: Immediately identified as a Belgian style beer with some light fruity esters and phenols bordering on bandaid. The surprise is that this beer is clearly made with American hops-- a B-APA, I guess. Citric and slightly grassy.

Taste: Damn this is hoppy. Almost into IPA land with the amount of hops character and bitterness. Quite a different BPA. Bitter citric and again, grassy hops-- tastes like Cascade--- SNPA with Belgian yeast. Fruity esters and some slightly musty yeast blends well with the hops. Bitter finish. This is a winner.

Mouthfeel: Bottle conditioning has caused an appropriate excess of carbonation. Sticky hops resin on the tongue.

Drinkability: I'm in love with this beer. Lowish alcohol, lotsa hops, and interesting Belgian yeast characteristics make a great, drinkable beer.

 1,036 characters

Photo of thecarster1
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- bottle poured into a tulip, one flus fingers worth of head, decent retention, slight haze, warm honey amber color.

s- spicy pepper, banana, clove, the nose is almost hefe adjacent.

t- lots of belgian yeast in here, zippy lemon, pepper, a bit of bitter hops, the spicy pepper lingers, and there is a citric tang on the back end.

m- medium to full mouth, coating, prickly.

d- good, this is a nice offering from weyerbacher, i would pick this one up again.

 460 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Very hazy honey orange with sustained cream-colored head.

Smell: Mix of very sweet banana bread & fleshy fruit and very dry clove & pepper. Somewhat musty as well.

Taste: Not as much as sweet fruitiness as in the smell. This is dried out musty malts with slight banana and wheat-like undertones. Ends extremely peppery, spicy and bitter.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, creamy medium body, extremely dry finish.

Drinkability: For a standard Belgian Pale Ale, this is very bitter and funky, but it is also quite crisp and refreshing. Very good, unique, summer seasonal.

 641 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

an orange pour with a nice almost white head of two finger. Nose is of zesty lemon and brown sugar. A bit of apple. Palate has an initial quality of cider. Nice apple tart that is only in the first moment. Then there is a honey and brown sugar pollen quality of malt. The sugar and hop quality isn't brisk one bit though. Hard of the gums as it doesn't sometun sit well. Good roasted meats quality for a blonde but i think the tension on the palate could make the abv very prevelent.

 483 characters

Photo of captainjferjado
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pale ale pours a warm yellow with great carbonation and head retention--a yield which maintains an inch with great lacing. The aroma is simple enough but enticing with citrus-aroma hops. Sweetness of pears and spices with bitter hop finish. A little too hoppy given its otherwise delicate flavors. Well carbonated and smooth except for a little puckering due to slightly excessive hopping. Not quite "pale." This beer is enjoyable and smooth. Unlike the vandal sneaking in to the temple grounds to learn of it, this truth is not quite verboten to the earthly; let's enjoy.

 577 characters

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

The beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a solid pale malt scent along with good hop character and one hell of a yeast aroma. It's fruity/peppery; all of the above. The taste is great as well! I'm loving the bitter hop flavor compiled with a yeast character that's out of this world. It's dry and bitter and just plain good. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a Belgian pale that borders on a Belgian IPA. It's complex and super enjoyable. Great job Weyerbacher!

 593 characters

Photo of tone77
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of fruits and spices. Taste is good, fruits spices, a bit bitter at the finish, a lot going on here. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a high quality beer.

 287 characters

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

Fair, if a bit forgettable, take on a Belgium pale ale.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Light cream label with a faint texture resembling old paper and the name of the brew and style presiding it in large Germanic medieval-like fonts. Given other disastrous Weyerbacher designs this is pretty restrained and works well. Notes bottle conditioning, and Alc. by Vol. (5.9%). Lacks bottling or freshness date. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Lightly hazy deep gold pour, over a 1" frothy head with average retention, good surface memory, and some lacing.

S - Light yeasty sense with a grassy-hoppy touch over some fruity hints.

T - Taste follows with a yeasty sense, not bad, but a bit unusual leaning on a bitter and astringent sense, touches of spices, pepper, clove... Over that hoppy and bitter touch resting a bit uneasily on the malty base.

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Fair in an uncomplicated kind of way, good to share informally but short of being something really worth looking for.

Notes: Middle of the road for me, granted that I typically am not too fond of the style and this falls on the low end of that spectrum for me.

 1,184 characters

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

Not attempting to replicate my review of Zotten, though I realize that this is the same brew. I'm interested to see how my tastes have evolved.

A- Glowing golden, active body with a massive immaculate Belgian-style head that can't be stopped, can only be contained. A very lively beer in the glass.

S- Lots of crusty bread upfront with a dry bitter Popperinge hop backbone. Some pilsner style grains. Some funkiness and ripe dark berries on the back end round this out. Yeast is the primary focus, with lots of subtleties and side trips.

T- Subtle carby sweetness on the tip of the tongue immediately dries out as the beer coats the rest of the palette. Bittering hops only, although there is a bit of citrus intermingled on the back end, along with a few raisins and flowery hints. A slight twang of macropils in the aftertaste.

M- Lots of carbonation, but it is soft and creamy up front. A bit of an acidy, yeasty stab in the back of the throat going down.

D- Not my favorite style, but a very good, drinkable pale featuring some good subtle funk. Reminds me of west Flanders.

 1,083 characters

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

weyerbacher verboten

a: pint serving, hazed bright copper in color, topped with a nice thick head, light lace

s: pale malts with a nice yeasty peach aroma dominant, contrasted by a tropical American hop aroma - mild to moderate in strength, delicately sugary, mild clove

m: carbonation light and bubbly, body light-medium

t: pale malts and wheat form a nice, simple structure, yeasts and some lightly sugary peach fruit quickly dry as mild clove and a piney bitterness come through, not highly hopped exactly, but it really stands out when applied to this style, some tropical fruits - especially pineapple

d: easy, a nice bpa variant with an American hop edge

single from some place or another

 700 characters

3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to wine glass. $3.50.

A: Bottle conditioning leads to a healthy pop upon cracking. Verboten pours with an above average sized off white head of 2 fingers. Long lasting. The body is golden orange and hazy with a fair amount of dark chunks of particulate deposited on the second pour. The foamy head sticks to the glass well and the body produces a good amount of splotchy lacing too.

S & T: With Verboten, Weyerbacher gives a respectful nod to the Belgian Pale Ale while incorporating a slight American twist in the hop bill (Centennial and Cascade). The Abbey yeast strain adds a light barnyard note which works well with the American hops and does not let this brew stray far from the Belgian style. Heavy malts of hay and heavy hops of grass, herbs and pine. Seemingly hoppier than many Belgian Pale Ales available which is a good thing for me since I prefer a dose of American hops in Belgian-Style Pale Ales. Additional flavors of apple and pear, a bit spicy with a light dusty notes as well.

M: Medium body with a minerally texture and average carbonation. The bottle conditioning and wheat malts have a greater effect on the appearance of this brew than they do the mouthfeel. Finishes dry with a restrained bitterness of only 30 IBUs.

D: Stylistically satisfactory and on point despite the creative liscense and liberties taken by the brewer. A valliant effort, but well short of extraordinary.

 1,412 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Unibroue tulip

A - Hazy golden-orange with a impressive 3-finger cap of creamy white head. Leaves behind think, sudsy lacing.

S - Banana, clove and light caramel-y malt with a touch of lemon. Not overwhelming or too unique, but nice nonetheless.

T - Pretty close to the nose. There is more of a defined citrus hop taste that gives way to a earthy spiciness, not unlike white pepper. Nicely balanced.

M - Creamy medium body with a sharp, crisp carbonation.

D - Really nice drinkability on this one, the missus and I blew through the sixer. This is a style that's growing on me more and more, and this Weyerbacher brew is near the top of the heap. Solid offering!

 682 characters

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

Got this from 2DogBrew-- Thanks Russ for all 18 or so boxes you've sent me over the last 6 months-- your friendship and generosity are appreciated in a huge way.

I poured this into a tulip... in the hopes this review will launch me into the next level of beer karma.

Pours a light golden orange color with some serious haze and cloudiness. Two finger white head settled faster than expected into a frothy cap but did leave some nice chunks of lace behind as a memento of having once been there-- like fossils in the sedimentary layer. Not too bad, but a little like Weyerbacher's labels-- not really impressive.

The smell is certainly to style-- some sweet and dry malts with a citrusy hop note and the unmistakable yeast notes. The yeast contributes a spicy and fruit ester that is warm and inviting. Again, nothing really stands out. Perhaps I'm expecting too much of this beer. I thought there was a big lawsuit or cease and desist order about this beer being a clone of some awesome Belgian beer... Maybe I imagined that... as part of my brewing industry insider/espionage thriller (I'll be opting the movie rights, so long as Micheal Caine plays the lead).

The taste starts sweet-- lightly sweet-- almost like Kix cereal. A little sweet, a little grainy, and totally mother-approved. The light citrus notes moves in and blends into the fruity yeast note--- it is a mix of standard Belgian yeast fruitiness and a little German Hefe yeast-- some banana and clove hiding in here perhaps? For just a split second, the yeast gives me a bubblegum flavor, but not regular/original bubblegum, it is reminiscent of Fruit Stripes bubblegum. Very interesting beer with a lot going on, though I think much of that complexity is due to the yeast, I still say that overall, I am impressed with the flavor. The finish has a spicy note of white pepper. Finish isn't exactly clean, there is a lingering blend of all aspects of the flavor profile, with nothing really getting in the final word.

The body is more full than medium-- probably a little heavy for the style, but it may just be due to my perception of too little carbonation. That perception may just be due to the inordinate amount of DIPAs I've been drinking lately... The feel isn't bad, a little more bubbles and it would work better in my opinion. The beer remains pretty much a one and done for me. I really couldn't see having another of these, not that it is bad, it's just not something I want to drink all night.

Overall-- I would happy to drink this if some one offered it to me or if I found it on tap, but I won't be asking Russ to send me another bottle.

 2,623 characters

Photo of bigrzman
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light wispy head goes away quickly. Nice cloudy golden amber color and vibrant carbonation. Very fruity and bready to the nose. Very bready taste with a hint of orange peels and berries. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a nice bubbling on the palate. I could enjoy a few of these on a spring or winter day

 299 characters

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.

 714 characters

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

In my goblet the beer was a hazy orange color with a medium-sized white head.
Great aroma. Sweet malt, outdoors/yeasty, a bit of citrus.
The aroma didn't quite translate into the taste, but was close. A bit of lemon, sweet bread, and some late hops.
Medium mouthfeel, quite pleasant.
I will want to drink more of these.

 320 characters

Verboten from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 740 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.