Indulging in forbidden fruit
A Review of Verboten by Weyerbacher
Posted on 10/24/2012 by Chops
Belgian Pale Ales as a beer style aren't that difficult to grasp. Think of a good pale ale. Now substitute Belgian yeasts. That's pretty much it, although Belgian purists would probably chastise me for oversimplifying the style. After all, Belgians are the luxury models of the beer world, so they certainly deserve respect. But for the average craft beer fan, all you really need to know going into any of these beers is that your standard pale ale has been ''Belgianized'' with those special yeasts. A great example of this style is the Weyerbacher Verboten Belgian-Style Pale Ale.

In the glass, this beer has a deep honey golden coloration. It comes with a frothy white head that dissipates at a normal pace. On the nose, that unmistakable sweet bread of a good Belgian sets itself up as a base aroma. Resting on top is that signature tangy citrus of a good pale ale, mostly in the form of a lemon zest. The combined mixture creates fruity and herbal qualities that envelope the entire aroma profile. A delightful intro, couldn't wait to dive right in.

When the beer hit my tongue, the first word to pop into my mind was ''aggressive''. Verboten has some bite for a Belgian Pale Ale. The hop profile is strong and assertive, much like a quality IPA. This isn't a bad thing mind you, just unexpected. The hop profile creates a bitter crispness to the mouthfeel that carries well through the finish. The citrus notes play second fiddle to the bitterness, so I would just go into this beer thinking ''Belgian IPA''. There are plenty of faint fruity notes swirling around, but all are nondescript due to the hops. The signature Belgian yeasts struggle to get noticed, but they do create the necessary sweet bready base. It's thinner than usual, but certainly notable.

Overall, the Weyerbacher Verboten is a tasty yet aggressive version of a Belgian Pale Ale. Like I mentioned before, it would behoove one to simply regard it as a Belgian IPA. No worries though because it shines in both arenas and is a worthy addition to any Belgian beer menu. Verboten is more assertive than most, but not so much as to be distracting. Consequently, I can recommend this beer to most beer fans. Belgian fans and other seasoned drinkers can enjoy Verboten as a flavorful session BPA. Novices should proceed with caution though because this beer does have a hop-forward approach. Those savory Belgian flavors are there, but you have to show it some respect first. Weyerbacher has always been a reliable brewery for me and I greatly enjoy exploring their product line. Verboten is a win in my book and I will certainly be indulging in more of their forbidden fruit.

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Verboten by Weyerbacher
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