Verboten | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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740 Ratings

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 740 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of AgentZero
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber color with a two finger white head that dissipated down to nothing and left no lacing.

S - Belgian yeast, malt backbone although it's muted to the yeast, little bit of citrus and mild funk. Fairly standard.

T - Belgian best, a little bit of light fruit, almost some unsweetened peach or something. Little bit spicy, little phenol, fairly basic, but not bad.

M - Carbonation is subtle but gives it a good bite. Medium bodied and a little slippery, but good for the style.

D - Got through the 12 oz bottle okay, was easy enough to do but I would notn call this a highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a tulip. Pours a golden yellow-orange with a two finger white head that subsides to one finger. Maintains nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of bananas, wheat, and malt. The flavor was of bread, bananas, apple, and malt. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a really nice and smooth brew. The fruity flavor is obvious throughout but is not overwhelming and made it quite refreshing. I will definitely be buying and drinking some more of this in the future.

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Photo of adamette
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a single at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage last week for $1.84 into my Brewery Ommegang Witte tumbler. No observed "best by" date. I was happy to find this since I had not heard of it before that moment.

A 2 inch creamy light brown head over a translucent copper body. A little bit basic of a look. 3.0

S A bit of a soapy smell (no, I did not just wash the tumbler and create a soapy smell!) along with very light hops and distant sweet malt. There is also a hint of peppery smell that I like too. 4.0

T A nice confluence of the peppery, yeast and light malt, and even some light hops in this Belgian Pale Ale. I am happy to report that it is not one of those "weak" pale ales that I sometimes find. 4.0

M Some fullness to this feel with the peppery, hoppy taste. It is probably moderate in the end and appropriate to the style. 3.0

D Good with the interesting tastes and reasonable ABV. 4.0

Notes: Glad that I found this interesting offering from Weyerbacher at Save-On!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

a - Pours an orange-amber color with 2 inches of white head and high carbonation.

s - Smells of spices, cloves, bananas, and Belgian yeasts.

t - Tastes of spice, bananas, and Belgian yeast. A tiny bit metallic.

m - Light to medium body and high carbonation.

d - A decent Belgian ale. There was a nice smell but a slightly metallic taste which was offputting and the carbonation was too high. Probably wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of meatyard
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden orange with a 1" off-white head that recedes relatively quickly to a cover and leaves some light lacing.
Smells spicy including cloves, yeasty and has a light hop aroma.
The taste is much the same as the smell with some bitterness in the end. The spiciness is even more pronounced here with more clove and a little malt comes forward.
Mouthfeel is pushing medium and dry.
Drinkability: This has many qualities to make it pretty drinkable. There's the low-ish ABV, a reasonable take on the BPA style, fairly inexpensive and a nice mix of flavors.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Verboten, which is the latest incarnation of Zotten, which once was Alpha.

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a small chalice. A dark gold in color with good head retention. Not a lot of lace though.

Smell: Belgian yeast and some floral hops. The cascade hop is prevalant in the nose.

Taste: A blend of pale malts, estery yeast and hops. Light bubblegum, minimal spice. The hop profile is sharp, biting, herbal and a little piney. Some grapefruit notes. Theres a minerally aspect to the beer. To sum it all up, a hop forward Belgian pale ale and a good one at that.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp. High level of carbonation and a semi-dry finish making me want to sip again. Theres a mellow lingering hop bittermess.

Drinkability: This is a very sessionable Belgian Pale Ale. Quite enjoyable, and won't dissapoint those looking for a hoppier example of the style.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - is a rich slightly cloudy amber - honey hue. Head is thick and full with an off white cream color. Forms a solid two fingers of head with tons of lacing.

Smell - is of yeast and malt, very fruity with light floral hops

Taste - yeast and malt again with some light bitterness from the hops.Malt lends a lot of sweetness. Pretty simple in my opinion but not necessarily bad.

Mouthfeel - is fairly good but nothing worth raving about. At first it seems as if its going to be creamy and full of carbonation but I was left slightly underwhelmed.

Drinkability - is good, its not heavy at all I could have two more before becoming full.

Overall - not a bad brew not remarkable but at the same time I don't find myself regretting buying or drinking it.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Barley's in Greenville, SC
A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/copper color with a small head. Retention is OK, not great.

S: For some reason, Weyerbacher makes about 3 beers that smell and taste very similar- this is close to their quad and Merry Monks. Strong Belgian influence, with lots of spearmint notes and general yeasty goodness. Sweetness is apparent.

T: Metallic notes are immediately noticeable (possibly the tap lines- but Barley's always has clean lines so...). Again, spearmint, light hops, bubblegum, a little band-aid, and light spices.

MF/D: Decent feel to it, carbonation is smooth and inviting. Residual sweetness and a lingering spearmint flavor.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy, copper golden hue with virtually no head and minimal lacing. Pretty unremarkable, if not basic BPA appearance.

S: Expected Belgian yeast aroma. Baked bread with a hint of clove and hops?

T: This could be labeled a Belgian IPA, with the unexpected hops in the finish of this one. Not as hopped up as your typical American IPA, or any Belgian IPA (Piraat comes to mind) but it's still hopped in comparison to other basic BPAs. I'm personally not a fan of the combination of a BPA and IPAs; I like them both, but they should be separate. Beer drinkers drink Belgian ales so they get a minimal or non-existent hops finish, IMO. The combination of sweet malt,bready belgian yeast, and hops is kind of confusing to the palate.

M: Nicely carbonated, in contrast to Weyerbacher's Merry Monk's which this one reminds me of a dummed down version of. MM is overwhlemingly yeasty and bready, and Verboten seems to be similar, but lesser so.

D: The injection of hops seems to drown out the rest of the flavors and aromas of a beer that has potential. An interesting take on BPA's but a traditionalist might not find it as such. Drinkability-wise, my palate would be tired and confused after two or three. Worth a try, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: hazy gold with low head retention

smell: typical bubblegum and clove aromas

taste: high bitterness for style. which i like. upfront bubblegum/clove, heavy bready notes

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: a nice belgian pale with higher bitterness. not bad.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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 BeerAndBourbon
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Pour a golden orange with a thick white head that dissipates with spotty residual lacing (it has literally left small spots of foam all around my glass).
S. Smells of wheat, cloves, banana, and freshly baked bread. All of this comes through with a candy-like sweetness.
T. Starts out wheaty and mildly spicy. Mid-palate I get a taste of circus peanuts, but really only the best characteristics of them (maybe I've forgotten what they taste like, but I get them without all of the associated sugar). The aftertaste is sweet banana bread with a subtle residual hop bitterness.
M. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation - serves this beer well.
D. Superbly drinkable. Sweet and interesting with a decent amount of hoppy bitterness to balance it out.

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Photo of abrand
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with Arenbeer poured into a Lefe chalice.

The Zotten ale pours a hazy orange almost yellow color. A thin head quickly fades. Aromas of belgian yeast and sweet malts. Some citrus fruits and caramel are also present. Taste is much more bitter than expected with some sweetness up front. Lemon peels and malts round out the quaff. Pretty good tasting belgian ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. Will look to trade for more in the future when it is under the new name. Thanks again Arenbeer!

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Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a honey gold color with fairly decent head retention and OK lacing. The nose is pretty attractive, showing a perfumy, flowery nose, coupled with clover and sweet honey. Flavors replicate the nose, and this beer has some impressive bitterness in the finish. The beer has an interesting spice component as well, which only adds to the attraction. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but that's to be expected in a 5.9% Belgian style pale ale. Nevertheless, there is plenty of flavor, and the beer has a fairly long finish. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol not at all noticeable.

Not sure I've had a better Belgian style pale ale, especially one with this level of hoppy bitterness and such a relatively low abv.

I've had better beers from Weyerbacher, but not many. Frankly, given what I've had from them in the past, I would never have guessed that they could make a beer like this. Impressive.

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Photo of dborginis
4.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the Brewery:
Verboten is a Belgian-style pale ale with an American twist. It is brewed with pale carahell and wheat malts and hopped with Centennial and Cascade hops to give it a distinctly American character. The medium bodied beer has a crisp palate and moderate bitterness coupled with the fruity esters from the abbey yeast strain. It is bottle and keg conditioned, so expect a tall, fluffy head and a small amount of sediment. ABV: 6%

Zotten had become my favorite beer last year, and I am so glad it is returning as Verboten. If you don't know the story, there are multiple forum threads about this.

This was poured from a bottle out of a case with Aug 27 2010 as the drink by date. There was about an inch of head, a clean white color, with the rest a slightly turbid golden color. The smell is the standard Belgian sweetness.

The beer itself has the sweetness standard of a Belgian style. That's the first flavor. Then comes the bitterness from the hops (and two of my favorite hop species) and a bit of solvent from the alcohol. The beer is well carbonated: I like a beer with a bit of carbonation. It all combines to make what has become my favorite beer. I am about to brew my own Belgian Pale Ale and I can only hope it tastes half as good as this!

I'd wish only that all this flavor could be achieved in a slightly lower ABV to make it truly sessionable. Still it is a great drink anytime, and I'll have to stock up unless they take this guy year-round!

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Photo of Shaw
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I stopped by Kingdom Liquors in Brandon and picked up a bottle of this, among other beers.

It's a hazy golden in color with a big foamy head that reduces to a thin layer in my glass.

Light aroma of Belgian yeast and spices, with notes of lemon peel.

The taste is lightly spicy and earthy, with notes of lemongrass and citrus.

Bubbly body that's not watery.

Overall a decent Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a Delerium Noel goblet. I'm glad I was able to find a bottle of this discontinued beer on the shelves at RSVP. The beer has a golden tan color. It is extremely clear with a lot of carbonation rising. There is a big white foam head that has settled down to a finger thick layer of large bubbles. There is a little bit of lacing and plenty of visible coating left behind when I swirl the beer around. It has a great sweet malt aroma. I can detect figs, banana and toffee; it reminds me of a strong dubbel. I could smell the beer a little bit while pouring, but now that I've really taken in the aroma, I'm eager to take a sip. The beer has a big malt flavor. I can taste graham cracker, banana, alcohol and a slight astringency in the finish. It is a heavy beer with lots of coating properties. I can almost swallow a second time after I use my tongue to collect the film left in my mouth. I don't consider this a bad trait (although some might); I like a beer with a strong mouth presence. There is a good amount of carbonation; looking at the beer made me expect to feel more bubbles, but I think the heavy body tempers this quality somewhat. Considering the heavy body and ABV, I find the beer to be pretty drinkable. I would drink a number in fast succession, but I can certainly see myself working through a four pack in an evening. I'm glad this beer will be back, albeit under a different name.

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Photo of beer2day
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep gold with orange hues. Very thin layer of head, no retention. Very active carbonation, as expected in a bottle conditioned beer. Decent lacing, in sparse sheets.

Nose is very earthy and musty. Slightly sweet as well, mainly grapes but some cherry in there too.

Very bright and active on the tongue. The Belgian yeast lends a banana-clove characteristic to the taste. Nice bitter finish, but banana climbs all over it.

Good body for the style.

Nice enough, but one is plenty for me.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Snifter

A- Pours a darker golden orange, almost honey in the body with a frothy 1finger head on top

S- Pale malts and Belgian yeast dominate with a hint of hops in the nose.

T- Much like the smell the pale malts and genuine Belgian yeast are most predominate with a bit of spiciness and hops to compliment.

M- Medium bodied with moderate to lower carbonation that leaves little bitterness in the finish. More sweet on the tongue than anything.


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Photo of thegodfather2701
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into an over sized snifter. It pours a gold/honey with a billow off white head that leaves some nice cascading.

S-Belgian yeast, malty, spicey and some pear notes.

T-Spicey, peppery, malty with a touch of hops.

M-Its nicely carbonated, not very thick, just about right for the style.

D-Very drinkable, definitely a session beer. Too bad it is retired.

Overall, I really enjoyed sipping on this beer while doing some prep work for a nice grilling session. As Summer approaches and I get the desire for more mellow beers instead of Imperial Stouts I think I will turn to some Belgian style ales to quench my thirst.

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Photo of cooncat
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review, and thanks to Adamette for the sample, which made a bad day a whole lot better.

Poured carefully at about 55 deg. F into my SA glass. I had to moderate the pour in order to fit the entire bottle into the glass, because the head was huge and foamy, eggshell colored. Retention is pretty good, though the larger bubbled head seems to deflate once it starts going in that direction. Lacing is left in splotches on the glass. The look is a very appealing apricot orange, with good clarity. (leaving the yeast in the bottle helped)

The nose is malt forward with a yeast based spiciness. I'm getting some bubblegum and floral hops as well. Simple but inviting.

The taste is very Belgianesque, with phenolic yeasty spiciness rising to the fore. Light clove and bubblegum dominate, with a solid malt sweetness behind. Hop notes are nil. The carbonation is pretty spritzy, probably close to 3.0 volumes, which is typical for the style. The carbonation level makes this a very refreshing drink but doesn't diminish the mouthfeel noticeably. I'd put the mouthfeel around medium ... maybe a tad lower. If you are into Belgian's this is a session brew and has great drinkability. Even if you aren't a Belgian fan, you'll easily be able to grab for more than one of these.

Glad I got a chance to review this now retired brew from Weyerbacher. I've found that Weyerbacher does not disappoint. If you are able to find this one, its worth picking up.

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Zotten, the fool.

Too bad this beer is now defunct due to copyright infringment, it is quite nice. Honestly, Weyerbacher's were the Zottens to have so blatantly ripped off the original Belgian brand; this beer is good and can stand on its own, it doesn't need any borrowed/stolen marketing.

A - It pours a deep orange hue, with a big, fizzy white head, not so much lacing. Very little retention

S - Caramel, lemon-lime, banana ester, slightly vinous aroma that is found in Cognac, though the aroma itself is not of Cognac by any stretch.

T - Pretty good. Starts with an essence of ripe fruit - mango and banana - before segueing into a pale bohemian malt and hop character, and then a bit of alcohol, with a long dry finish that bitters until astringency.

M - This may be the weak link. It has an uuninspiring mouthfeel. There is nothing wrong, but it isn't enhancing to the brew.

D - This is a pretty damn good Belgian, for an American brewery.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper-orange color, with a nice thick off-white head. Lacing is superb. Lots of bubbles.

A great aroma or citrus spice, some burnt sugar and bubble gum notes. Interesting mix of spicy hops and some nice earthy yeast. Taste is alive with spice and citrus, some caramel and that nice musty yeast character. There is a great melding of distinct flavors in this beer. They all work very well together. Alcohol peeks through in the finish, which is only mildly bitter and still spicy with some lingering tutti-frutti.

Medium bodied, smooth with a nice tingle of carbonation.

This is a well made beer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - lightly hazed copper color with an off-white head that thinned leaving a spot or two of lacing.
S - Belgian yeast, alcohol and a slightly metalic aroma.
T - sour green grapes, yeast and a somewhat medicinal flavor.
F - medium bodied with a fizzy feel.
D - it's just average.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
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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Verboten from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 740 ratings