Matacabras | Dave's BrewFarm

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132 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dave's BrewFarm
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by darklordlager on 02-19-2010

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 |  Reviews: 89
Reviews by ZAP:
Photo of ZAP
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't reviewed a beer in months but this one is so surprisingly good that I had to put the pen to paper.

Pours into a snifter a brilliant reddened brown with a large beige head that very quickly descends to a thin but pretty lacing.

Aroma is sweet and boozy with lots of banana bread, along with some prunes, caramel, and pepper. Very Hefe meets Belgian Strong Dark and a hair shy of a Weizenbock.

Bready with a diverse range of fruit flavors. Banana, musk melon, prunes. Traces of caramel like sweetness. Lots of black pepper in the finish along with some mineral content. Hints of rye.

Mouthfeel: warm and a bit boozy but not in a way that I mind. Well carbonated.

Drinkability: Great. This is really my kind of beer.

I really, really like this beer and at 10 bucks a sixer I will be drinking quite a lot of it. Well done Brewfarm! I can't wait to see what else you'll come up with.

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Photo of warnerry
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
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 pat61
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
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 rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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 richkrull
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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

Blurry amber-mahogany in color with a tight crop of beige foam which dwindles quickly but leaves nice lacing.
Scented of golden raisins, banana bread, caramel, clove, prunes, and pepper. There is a bit of brandy-esque alcohol bite, but its intergrated. Nose-wise it's closest to a Weizenbock, though there is a hint of Belgian yeastiness that pushes toward Dubbel territory.
It rolls caramelly sweet across the tongue. Bready too, with pinpricks of rye spiciness. Fruitiness follows with raisins, muskmelon, and prune. Then the phenols hit, bringing browned bananas, clove, pepper, and wet limestone. Hopping is meager, but adds a congruent peppery, dryness. Alcohol is downplayed, considering the potency, but adds a touch of port-like boom at the end.
Medium-full bodied, somewhat cloaked but the rampant carbonation. More exciteable than fizzy, but it settles out just the same, finally showing its real girth. The balance of sweet/fruity vs. dry/spicy keeps this drinkable long past the CO2 fadeout.
I wanted a bigger pronounciation from the rye, and I didn't get it. But that's my only disappointment here. This is nice, and I'm thinking a little age will help this melt together even better.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Love the name of this beer: Matacabras translates from Spanish as "The Wind that Kills Goats".

Appearance: Clear deep amber color with a nice tan foamy head that left some lacing and receded to a frothy cap.

Smell: Subtle hints of citrus, spice, and light sweet fruits.

Taste: Like it smells, much more subtle than I was hoping for. Sweet malts with a little spice and some subtle hops. Not much of the good yeast phenols I associate with good Belgian Strong Dark Ales.

Mouth Feel: Medium body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Nice beer, but not on par with the better BSDA's out there. This might be a good choice for beginners to the style, but there are some other better examples of this style (Unibroue, Delirium, etc.). But, not bad for a "brew farm" from Wisconsin. :)

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

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, thank you to Shango42.

The color is very much brewed black tea, deep clay red, with little head. The clarity would be excellent without my big (partially accidental) pour of yeast. The bubbles are yellowed, like dried egg, some stick and good retention.

Dancingly fruity nose with cut apple, dried peach and apricot, pear, and fresh grapes. Tea and candi sugar, quite sweet like candied fruit.

Fruitiness carries through. Earthy tea tamps down a treacly sweetness and lots of apple and pear. The yeast shows itself more in the finish with that chalky matte Belgian-ness, and the rye comes through as well with a little spice. It adds to the earthiness. The yeast must be contributing a good part of the fruitiness, but I have a feeling that the other part is American hops as indicated by the label.

Rather light bodied with appropriate fizzing carbonation. At first I was thinking it was too light, but any heavier would be oppressive.

I'm thoroughly impressed. This is one of the better BSDAs I can remember having. I like the earthiness and that the yeast is there but not completely running the show. There is some steely aroma and flavor, but not too much.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, scooped at Star

didnt know much about this brewery until the other day - very cool sustainable operation, featuring wind power no less

appearance: served in a great dane imperial pint glass, murky amber body, big foamy/frothy white crest and strong retention

smell: nice - banana and clove, candied belgian sugar, fig, weizen-esque wheat profile

taste: enjoyable - dont immediately think "belgian dark", but whatever, sweet belgian candy sugar, banana, sweet peaches, clove, caramel, dry ginger, dark belgian yeast, lots of wheat

mouthfeel: medium body, smooth and well

drinkability: high

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from Princeton in Maple Grove. I wasn't impressed by BrewFarm's lager, so this beer was a pleasant surprise. I was struck by how much it reminded me of Westmalle Dubbel, one of the world's best for the style in my opinion.

The body was light enough (for the strength) and highly drinkable. My glass was empty so far I wished I bought more. The flavor and aroma are a mix of dark grains (caramel, toffee, dark bread) and Belgian spice (pepper, clove and cinnamon). The only thing holding this beer back is the CO2. If they could naturally carbonate, there'd be no telling this wasn't from Wisconsin.

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Photo of plfahey
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep Amber color, light haze with some small white pieces of sediment (perhaps from too aggressive of a pour). Thin light tan head with poor retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma-Wonderful dark fruit aroma (Plums and Prunes) show in the forefront, with a hint of raisins as well. Malt sweetness shows as well, with a little bit of a grainy malt characteristic. Hops are not apparent in the nose. Some spices characteristic of Belgian yeast phenolics show up (perhaps light cloves?) and a little bit of spicyness from the alcohol.

Taste-Flavor is a complex interplay of several elements-similar dark fruits (plums and prunes) show up, though not as strongly. The malt flavor is not as sweet, and is tempered by the rye presence. This time, earthy hops make an appearance in the background. The Belgian spice characteristics are not as apparent in the flavor. The alcohol is smoothly integrated into the finish and the palate finishes dry.

Mouthfeel-Medium-Full to Full, Carbonation is medium low. Alcohol is warming and extremely well integrated leading to a very smooth finish which leaves the mouth feeling slightly coated.

Overall-A delicious and interesting take on a Belgian strong dark ale. While unusual in the inclusion of Rye and the hoppiness in the flavor, this is an extremely drinkable beer.

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Photo of dbossman
4.35/5  rDev +13%
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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Photo of mikey711
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Pretty dark amber close to brown, with a huge white head that leaves really good lace. Slightly cloudy with some sediment floating around.

S: Very yeasty smelling with some pepper and clove notes. Also very very sweet smelling, with loads of candied sugar notes

T: Again yeasty and peppery, not overly sweet in the taste as in the nose but still some candied sugar notes. Considering this was a rye belgian I thought there would have been a bit more pepper and spiciness which i think would have enhanced the flavor

M: Nice chewiness and body. No heat, but very filling

D: I am happy just having the one as even the first few sips seriously filled me up

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of kenito799
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Fin du Monde chalice.

Medium brown brew with rocky head, leaves nice lace. Aroma of warm malt and cinnaon-spicy fuitiness, spot-on Belgian. The taste is nicely crisp and dry, not cloying at all, very well balanced. Tastes like a really good dubbel or abbey ale, perhaps the undetectable alcohol actually helps giv ethe impression of dryness. That crispness keeps this lighter despite what a strong heavy brew this really is. The aromas and flavors keep you coming back for more. Very well done.

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Photo of djschnabel
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Vonerichs
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red-brown color with a thin and brief head.

The smell is bread and spice, like rye. Caramel sweetness and dark fruits.

Sourdough bread, prunes, and a spicy finish.

Heavier body, low on the carbonation, and slightly astringent.

Pretty good beer, but one is enough for me.

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Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of morimech
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Apricot colored with one inch of white head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Dark fruit such as figs and prunes, yeasty and bready, a touch of ash, typical Belgian spice is kept low keyed.

Taste- A lot of dark fruit in the flavor. Bready malt. Sweetness is low and kept in check by what little spice charactor there is. A bit of an astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and nicely carbonated. It does seem a little chalky though.

Drinkability- A good American interpretation of the Belgian dark ale. Do not understand why they could not can this like they do with Brewfarm Select.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of dhannes
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of wstein70
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a trade for some other beers, so wasn't expecting it.

A: Poured a brownish-red amber. Not much foam, even with a heavy pour.

S: The smell throw me, it was hard for me to determine. Other reviews said fig/malt/cherry. I am getting something completely different, can't put my finger on it.

T: now it got even weirder, again I can't put my finger on the taste. Maybe it is the fig taste that has been mentioned.

M: not to bad, good body, with some after taste

D: A deccent beer, not something I would ask for again. But I wouldn't mind trying other beers from this brewer.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into .3l - from chixdighops

A few quick notes. I did not know that was considered a Belgian strong dark ale when I drank it and this bottle has seriously cool art.

Overall a nice pour; outside of direct light it has a muddy coloring. It looks like muddled apple cider (although 'brighter'). Dirty white head that receedes quickly. Very little lacing, minimal tight bubble around the edges.

Strong spice aroma. A little yeast.

The flavor is layers of spices. A raisin flavor, but also the finish tastes like honeydew melon. Slightly sour but not unpleasant.

The mouthfeel is weighted but the carbonation and the spices notes. It looks lighter in the glass than it feels when consumed.

It's enjoyable. I don't know that I'd drink a ton of these, may just not be the right style for me.


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Photo of TWStandley
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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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Matacabras from Dave's BrewFarm
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 132 ratings