Dave's BrewFarm

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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #169
Ranked #17,653
3.87 | pDev: 10.85%
Dave's BrewFarm
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 132
Photo of pat61
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Matacabras pours copper tinted amber under a slight chill haze under a bone white finely bubbled foam cap. The nose is malty and bready with traces of spice and light fruit. The initial attack has traces of malt sweetness and toffee over a hint of fruit and spice that is close to clove. It dries out on the finish with a moderate hop bitter accent. Medium body, creamy smooth, with slightly above average carbonation.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear, bubbly copper with a thin white head and no lace. The aroma is fruity and floral with caramel malt. The flavor is caramel and a bit of spice with orange notes. This beer has a lasting alcohol warmth and the mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Exactly like cough medicine. Daves BrewFarm matacabras is a decent beer, recommended.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. Nice matured fruit tones are in abundance here, but they never get out of control. Carbonation bites a very tiny bit, but overall the feel is smooth. This is a good Belgian style ale that has some interesting (what seems like) Flemish character going on. I like it a lot and think it's very well executed for the style.

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Photo of ZAP
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Deep burnt orange...whisp of creamy head

S-Sticky sweet malts with a bit of black pepper....yeasty....bready...nice...

T-I get a good dose of black pepper and anise....some cloves too..fruity (apples and pears)...some light breadiness...

M-High side of medium bodied...creamy...the peppery dimension keeps the sticky sweetness in check...

O-This is ok....not a big fan of the peppery/anise notes in this...well made beer just not my flavor profile...wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet fruity spicey aroma with some brown sugar and hints of pepper and a hint of alcohol. Nice.
Copper/red amber. Pretty clear. Smallish head for style.
I bought a six pack about 1 month ago and the flavor has already changed some. Not quite as robust as the earlier bottles, but still flavorful and complex. The fruitiness has abated some and now is more malt forward. Nice tasty streak of alcohol. Dries out appropriately. Very faint hop. Nice spicy nip to the sip.
Moderate body and full carbonation.
I would say a bit of aging hasn't been friendly, so far, to this beer. So, drink it fresh. It's something special then.

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Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouts a mahogany / chestnut brownish red color with a large head that leaves a nice lacing down the glass. Nose is lots of fruity Belgian yeast notes with some cereal malts in it. Taste is caramel malt up front that moves to some spicy rye. Fruity Belgian flavors - raisin, plum, candied sugar, come in next. Ends a little dry and fruity. Full, smooth body. Overall, this is a good BSDA. Fruity and sweet as it should be but very drinkable. First from Dave's farm and my interest is piqued.

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Photo of TWStandley
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appeared a burnt orange/brown color with a light brown 2 finger head.

Smelled a bit sweet with a definite belgian yeast presence.

Sweet with a bit of chocolate and possible some apple mixed in.

Mouthfeel was carbonated well, no heat from the 8% at all.

Overall an interesting beer, but one I wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$2.25 single from Abe's.

A very hazy dark orange body, topped by a finger of oatmeal-white whipped cream.

Aroma has some sweet fruits, maybe a sprinkle of candy sugar. Little bread, but the bakery is up the road a piece.

Taste starts sweet, sweet fruit with some candy too. A noble hop smack at the swallow. Spicy Belgian style yeast.

Light, bubbly mouthfeel.

Well crafted. I would sample other beers from the Brew Farm.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a blood orange liquid with thousands of tiny floaters. The very light brown head is thin and slightly splotchy.

S- Light candied fruit, brown sugar, cider, caramel, and a bit of citrus. Interesting and enjoyable.

T- Absolutely delicious. Sweet brown sugar, apples, some cider, bread, and a definite Belgian kick. All the flavors blend really nicely together. The only downfall is a bit of astringency on the finish.

M- The carbonation is nice, bit the astringency builds the more of it I consume.

O- A very tasty beer that rivals some of the Belgian counterparts. Most definitely worth trying.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a weird looking beer. Had no idea it was a Belgium Strong ale clocking in at 8%. Did get a good price mixed and matched for $1.65

A - Wow not as "dark" as expected but it does have some sweet carbonation and is clear. Head is opaque om color and quickly turns to a sticky lace ring.

S - Wow interesting mix of Belgium yeasts and spicy rye. A nice bit of hops and caramel in the smell too.

T - Has a nice body without much cloying yeast. Rye isn't as pronounced but it's got a nice sweetness and mild hoppy finish. Pretty good stuff.

M - Medium to heavy in body but drinks rather well.

Overall a very good Belgium beer brewed here in the states. Would have it again. BTW the cover art is ridiculous with a goat caught in a hurricane. LOL

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A moderate pour yielded just under a finger of almost yellow head. Body is a solid brown with orange notes. A ring is left up top after a minute or so, and the courtesy of lacing is left out.

I smell raisins, prunes and yeast out of the gate. A strong caramel note takes over and guides me over to booze, malt and candy sugar aromas.

Caramel, bread and dark fruit usher in the flavor of the beer. This is followed with a little yeast, more dark fruit and candy sugar.

This beer is medium bodied, but just seems to run over the tongue and down the throat like its lighter. This can drink so fast that if you aren't careful that 8% will catch up to you. It's apparent in the nose, but not in the flavor...

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer pours a bright slightly aged copper brown with a gentle carbonation of microbubbles and a thick head that last the full beer and sticks to the glass.

S- The aroma of bread crust, pot caramel and some rye/wheat notes have a bit of a fruit cocktail hop note in the finish.

T- The caramel and bread malt characters are full with some softer toffee notes and bock like melanoidin hints. The taste is very lagered with some sweetness grown larger in the finish. There is some grain rye notes that grow in spice and heat in the finish.

M- The full mouthfeel is accentuated by the sweetness and the alcohol heat really grows as the beer opens up.

O- When I drank this at cellar temps it is too hot and sweet to get through but chilled to fridge temps it really keeps the alcohol and sweetness down while the other flavors hold their own, making it a totally different beer. Reminds me of a great eisbock when served cold.

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

Not what I expected out of a dark ale but the higher ABV won me over some. I got a very fruity taste and it was different than the normal dark fruit taste I get from a darker beer. It was hard to describe. I liked the beer but I don't know if I could have had more than one. I didn't get to drink it out of a glass so I couldn't get a great read on the look.

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Photo of Suds
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very hazy pale copper colored beer. The head is initially thick, but falls to a ring of thin foam. Slightly fruity aroma...apricot, peach, and a bit of yeast. The taste, however, is decidedly more fruity. Lots of stone fruit flavors...peach is serious in this one. Pale malt, sweetness, sugar, and, again, lots of fruit (fruit cocktail?). The body is heavier than the first sip would foretell. Also, the ABV sneaks up on you. Full in body and drinkable. This is an interesting and worthwhile try.

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Photo of MrGraybeard
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a chilled bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler. A thin layer of yeast sediment remained in the bottom of the bottle.

In the glass, it's amber with a slight haze and very little head or lacing. Has the look of a Belgian farmhouse ale. Aroma is yeasty with a cherry cough drop, and I do catch a hint of what another reviewer described as phenol ... perhaps it's the rye. Not out of place here, IMO.

Malt is obvious in the taste, with rye expressing itself at the finish with a spicy note, along with the alcohol. Overall the beer reminds me of Unibroue's Maudite, but spicier and with far less effervescence. Leaves the mouth tingling a bit. Nice.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.21/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy golden-red (not exactly dark, but that's ok) with a fairly big offwhite head. Just a couple piece of lacing.
S- Smell is sugary, with a bit of peppery spice. Just a bit of fruityness.
T- Up front it is really really sweet breadyness. Sugary is pretty heavy. A bit of fruity character and some yeast in the middle. Just a hint of alcohol. At first it was enjoyable but the sugar really wears down the tongue.
M- Sugary mouthfeel, coats the tongue in that way. Carbonation is fizzy and first bit eventually the weight prevails.
O- The first 8 ounces were really enjoyable but the highly sweet flavor wears on you pretty quickly.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz Tulip Glass

Appearance - Dark Crimson/Rust that has a very hazy look to it. Pours a 2 finger head and carbonation looks pretty light.

Smell - Very sweet sugary and caramel smell with some very pungent fruity notes. There's also some spicy notes to this as well, but I can't quite put my finger on what those spices are. I can also sense a pretty good malty backbone in here as well

Taste - Very sweet bready flavor with some caramel and spicy notes. The caramel in particular has both some sweet and bittersweet flavors. The alcohol flavor is masked very well here considering it's ABV. The aftertaste flavor ends on a spicy rye note that you would need to taste to believe, it's unlike any other aftertaste I've had before!

Mouthfeel - It's fairly light in carbonation and slightly heavy in body. This combination makes it a fairly easy to drink beer; In fact, I'd even go as far as to say this beer is pretty smooth!

Overall - I was not disappointed by this beer at all. I always enjoy picking up random beers to try out as I'm always excited as to what I will get and this beer is one of the reasons why I enjoy it! The unique flavor combined with it's smooth feel is reason enough to try out this beer at least once.

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Photo of 57md
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The appearance was very light copper with little head. The dominant scent was an unpleasant light soapy smell that seemed to come from nowhere. The taste was light and a bit peppery with slight hoppiness. There was a lingering semi-sweet, semi-tart aftertaste that was also a bit unpleasant. This one looked promising on the beer menu, but that promise was not quite fulfilled.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a very nice clear deep amber. A 1/2 inch off-white head forms and reduces to a solid over-the-top lacing. Carbonation is visible and no sediment.

The aroma is sweet with cotton candy and molasses present. Just a bit of rye makes itself known. Unique and good.

The taste is started with a hoppy bitterness that is followed by the sweet candy and caramel. Quite raw with some rye and grainy type notes. Yeast and a bit of alcohol appear as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a carbonation that falls off quickly, but starts almost effervescent. A nice dryness at the end with some spiciness make this interesting.

I wasn't real sure what to expect, but this is an interesting beer. It is solid in each of the categories and provides a little something different, while still being quite drinkable.

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Photo of warnerry
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear ruby-tinged oranges with two fingers of creamy tan head. Head has very good retention anleaves some lacing.

S - Smells of candy sugar and spicy rye. Also some hints of dark fruits. An odd combination. Not unappealing, but doesn't really draw you in.

T - Similar to smell there is a mix of sugar, spice, fruit andsome other flavors I can't quite place. Leaves a lingering spiced tea flavor. Interesting, but not something I would want very often.

M - Medium, sticky mouthfeel with a dry, spicy finish.

O - Definitely glad I tried this. An interesting mash up that mostly works, but has novelty going for it more than anything else.

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

First had: on tap at TJ's Restaurant & Drinkery, Paoli, PA

Poured a slightly hazed tanned amber with a big, foamy, white head that retained and laced very well. Actually, I was expecting something much darker for something labelled as a dark ale, and I had to ask the bartender if she poured me the correct beer, but yes, that was it. Smell was full of Belgian goodness (esp. for a beer made in WI), with notes of bready yeast, spice, and dried fruits. More of the same in taste, bready, spicy yeast, pepper, noticeable alcohol, dried apricots, apple skins, raisins, and a touch of honey. Nice and complex, though I still sensed something just a little off...perhaps a bit phenolic. Medium body, and pretty drinkable, but I think one glass was good enough.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Republic in Mpls' 7 Corners.

Pours a murky amber,slightly full of sediment, really an odd, unusual appearance.

Smell is very fruity and malty, picking up a lot of pears and maybe some tropical fruit. Very similiar taste,sort of understated but a big follow on terms of aftertaste: yeast, apple. Pretty good.

A little bit fizzy, with an appropriate amount of alcoholic bite given the 8% ABV.

Not a beer that knocks your socks off, but absolutely a drink worth trying.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a slightly hazy amber color. The head was fluffy and white. As it settled the head left a decent lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is surprisingly different. Has lots of things happening in there. I pick up some strong aromas of rye I think. There is some hints of sweetness also. The taste is just about as baffling as the nose, There seems to be some sweet malts that collide with some spices and herbal notes in there. The mouthfeel of the beer wasn't too bad, it was medium bodied and fairly drinkable. Overall I can't say that I'd need to have this beer again, I think it was a too far out, I like that people enjoy on here but as for me I had one and I think that was plenty.

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Photo of coopsta12p
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Burnt red color when held up to the light with a lighter honey color along the edge of the glass. Appears to have a good amount of carbonation. Retains a half finger of head at first that slowly dissipates into a thin frothy layer. Significant lacing.

S - Having a tough time pinpointing the aroma. I can smell the sweetness of the malts mixed with a slight hint of something citric. Possibly smelling some chocolate or caramel mixed with a lemon smell. I smell a slight herbal aroma coming from my glass as well.

T - It immediately hit me with a slightly bitter but very malty flavor. It seemed to have a burnt flavoring to it. Very robust. Followed with a citric/bitter aftertaste.

M - Slightly Chewy. The citric taste seems to remain on the palate longer than the burnt malty flavors. Not as heavy as it initially feels but defintely not watery.

O - Overall I had a really tough time pinpointing what I was tasting. The toughest beer I have reviewed to date. Maybe that's why the brewery calls it "A Curious Ale". I thoroughly enjoyed the beer and will be trying more of Dave's beer. Recommended to all for a try!

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Photo of dbossman
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium brown hue with subtle cranberry tint; thin head and nice lacing

S: Grainy and spicy up front with a mild citrus/ hop aroma on back end; darker fruits too with a touch of banana and clove along with subtle herbal aromas

T: Much more hop bitterness up front than I anticipated; but then that becomes quickly balanced by a grainy, malty, rye backbone; some lemon citrus from the hops, bread and caramel from the malts; but also lots of cloves and bananas from the yeast; a touch boozy but it works well

F: Fairly medium body and creamy--probably from the yeast; the beer sticks so nicely to the roof of the mouth

O: Interesting and balanced beer; hard to pin this down to one style but that's obviously the point here: great beer

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Matacabras from Dave's BrewFarm
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 132 ratings