Matacabras | Dave's BrewFarm

very good
89 Reviews
no score
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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

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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 132
Photo of drpimento
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, I don't know where all these other reviews are coming from. I personally get a nice average ordinary malty strong beer. Poured with a fizzy, cream colored head and no lace. Color is a clear orange amber. Aroma is malt and bananas. Flavor is like aroma with some alcohol in there and on the sweet side. Body is full and carbonation is decent. Finish is like flavor and fairly short except for the alcohol.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3/5  rDev -22.3%
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 RonfromJersey
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
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 57md
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
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 wstein70
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
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 jsprain1
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
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 ZAP
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
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 mikey711
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
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 Florida9
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Slightly opaque orange brown in color. Forms a smallish white head, really barely a surface coating, but it is fluffier around the edges. (3.5)

S: Heavy malts. Orange. A light malty sourness to reminiscent of a faint whiff of malt vinegar (3.5)

T: Almost sour malt flavor with fruity esters and a mild bitterness. Rather complex. A mild bitterness. Finishes with a residual maltiness to it. Malty orange juice. (3.5)

M: Sharp and full bodied with a slight twang to it. (4.0)

D: This one can be both interesting and a little tough to handle. While not a "sour" beer in the typical fashion, I believe this one is meant to be approaching "sourness" while not actually being sour. Ends up being an unusual combination of flavors. (3.0)

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Photo of herman77
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark rust/amber color. Pretty cloudy. Creamy and thick light tan head. Good retention and decent lacing.

S: Belgium yeast, spice, a bit of sweet doughy bread and a bit of spicy hops.

T: Complex. Belgium yeast, a bit of spice and pepper, dark fruits, sweet cake, some hops near the backend. Finishes sweet and a bit boozy.

M: Medium body, moderate and soft carbonation.

D: Average at best. A little boozy and too much belgium spice and yeast funk going on.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
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 Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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 Viggo
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a clear amber/orange, medium sized white head forms and settles down to a medium ring around the glass, a thin layer, some decent lace spots stick, a bit light for a strong dark but looks alright.

Smell is interesting, pretty boozy, a lot of spice, cinnamon, honey, quite sugary, raisin and a lot of fruit, some sherry, strawberries, quite fruity, apples, not bad.

Taste is weird, kind of light and watery, lots of alcohol, a bit spicy and peppery, honey, sugars, sherry, some fruitiness, apple juice, very strange character, dry finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. A bit rough going down. Thank Russ!

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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 drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe in the Blind BIF, at the the time of the tasting I thought this was a quad, I was close I guess.

Beer is brown with a tiny thin head that breaks and pulls to the walls of the snifter, leaving a little lacing but overall the beer appears undercarbonated.

The aroma is confusing, sweet banana esters, lots of yeast, very fruity, juicy fruit sort of gum aroma, mild.

Beer isn't awesome just average, no matter what style you call it it is an average high gravity ale with a lot of yeast character. The beer is dominated by the yeast esters throughout, could be German or Belgian but the lead off sweetness and dryness to the whole thing makes me think Belgian the entire time.

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Photo of warnerry
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
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 xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into large snifter glass - thanks to dregs78 for this extra

Pours a clouded dark burnt orange with some brighter cherry red hues towards the bottom. An off white head bubbles up and dissipates, leaving wispy film and light spotty lacing on the glass.

Scents of candied dark fruit, brown sugar, and an unexpected flair of citrus hops.

Slightly rich up front with an assortment of familiar fruits including raisins and dates. Burnt sugar with syrupy molasses make for an overall sweeter taste. Some hoppy bitterness is also apparent. Finishes with some citrus and peppery tones along with a hint of boozyness.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, and relatively smooth and pleasant on the tongue. Drinks decent, although the dark fruit sweetness felt a little rich for my tastes.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
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 BeerFMAndy
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Green tulip. 8% ABV, no date.

A - Hazy amber brown color topped by a thick and dense light khaki head. Good retention and specks of Belgian lace are left on the glass.

S - Hookah apple tobacco and molasses present interesting undertones to this ale. Belgian yeast is hinter as with some banana while a far too powerful aroma of dry dirt hits up front. It smells like by hands after planting hops.

T - Much better flavor with straight-up dirt is left behind. Dark candi sugar and amber malts mingle with a slight banana Belgian yeast. The dirt is still there but falls to the back of the profile.

M - Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated, it's sweet finishing with a low dryness. A touch on the thin side I feel.

D - It begins to feel like a strong dunkelweiss after a while actually. Not bad, the aroma is just a little unpleasant and worth changing up. Decent brew from a small Wisconsin brewer though!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerFMAndy. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a dark ruby-brown color with a half-finger off-white head that falls down pretty quickly into a thin cap with a protruding collar around the edges. Pretty good lacing. The nose brings a bit of dark fruits, dominated mostly by dates and a light amount of raisin. Some figs in the background as well. Also slightly creamy. The flavor is pretty good and is enhanced by the creamy body. I get just a bit of booze along with the dark fruits and a bit of caramel. Finish is a bit harsh and dry in contrast to the body. Not too bad at first, though this tends to affect the drinkability.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
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 grub
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one from somebody at dark lord day... thanks to whoever you are!

12oz bottle. sampled aug 8/2010.

pours hazy deep orange, not really red or brown, just sort of an odd muddled colour. a thin fine light tan head forms, dropping fairly fast to a faint long-lasting layer over the beer and leaving some spotty lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. candied tropical fruit. light belgian yeasty spice. bit of dark fruit. whole wheat bread and cracker. bit of honey. seems like a mix of BSPA+BSDA character, but interesting.

taste is nice. light alcohol. a bit of chocolate and nutty character. bit of dark fruit. whole wheat bread. touch of cracker. light caramel. bit of belgian yeasty spice. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. well balanced. overall, the beer is a bit muddy - both in appearance and character. it shows shades of both a belgian strong pale and strong dark, but doesn't assert itself in either direction. interesting, but misses (either) mark for me.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky auburn with a thin tan head that disappears immediately.

S - Primarily dark fruits of raisins, plums, figs with some sweet malt.

T - Malty with cherry, clove, some yeasty notes, almost fruit cake like flavor.

M - Full body and very sweet.

D - A fruit cake in a glass. A definite sipper.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium-to-light amber with a thin, white head, that fades to a thin, patchy coating with a ring around the perimeter.
Dark fruit, figs, and a hint of banana.
Figs, dark fruits, and some sugar. Prunes and raisins on the finish. Alcohol presence is moderate.
Medium body, with a nice level of carbonation. Slightly dry.
Good drinkability. Good beer overall.

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Photo of maximum12
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had a bottled/can product of Dave's yet, but I have to say, if you're ever near the BrewFarm when it's open, you owe it to yourself to stop in. It's mad-scientist genius-level brewing. And the company is good, too.

Pours a lovely shade of light red; could almost pass unnoticed amongst a bevy of Sonoma beauties. Nose is subtle & quiet: bits of spicy rye, little wheatiness, light fruit. Nice but could use a goose.

Matacabras is a great name for a beer, & this one is a wormhole into a rye universe. The rye is prominent, & I've never tasted it cut with Belgian yeasts & candied sweetness; the contrast/combo is odd. The sweetness cuts into the rye & makes it rather timid. Aftertaste leans into the field, clove, green apples, the yeast is a touch aggressive. Easy to sip for a Belgian, & just a bit loosey-goosey in the mouth, bubbly, spritzy enough to be distracting from the nice tastines.

Good beer. Not up to level of the wizardry we've sampled at the BrewFarm, but a solid beer that should be on the list of anyone who likes rye or Belgians.

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Matacabras from Dave's BrewFarm
3.86 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.
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