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 bbeane
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a DFH snifter... starts with a small off-white somewhat fizzy head that disappears relatively quickly leaving no real lacing. Beer is dark amber in color with mild activity and a fair amount of sediment. Does leave behind some spotted lacing as it's drank

S- Not all that aromatic... slightly stronger after some swirls of the glass. Light notes of dark fruits, apple, and yeast and some cinnamon or nutmeg like notes

T- Not bad... Very sweet with belgian sugar and yeast. Dark fruits and spices

M- Medium body with light carbonation

O- Had never heard of this one before my friend gave it to me so I wasn't sure what to expect. All in all, I enjoyed it. It wasn't explosive in flavor but had a nice rounded taste that was enjoyable


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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 beernightscout
4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Six-pack from Woodmans in Kenosha, about $11. Clear, medium brown brew, very little head. Smells like...a weizenbock. Banana, clove, some alcohol. Tastes great, banana and clove and some breadiness. Alcohol helps clean it up, and you feel it. Still smelling the empty glass, I would swear this was a weizenbock if I didn't know it wasn't (or is it?). Highly recommend.

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Photo of matty
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is light maybe some dark fruits.Taste is dark fruits and sugar cane.It goes down pretty smooth for 8%.Overall very flavorful and tasty.I'm assuming better for the colder days.I would recommend and purchase again.

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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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Photo of brewerburgundy
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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 koopa
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rec'd as a gift from Vito at the Copper Mine Pub. Thanks amigo!

Label reads:

"Named after Spain's famed goat killing northerly wind, this tempestuous brew has a maelstrom of flavors swirling within it. Robust American hops and rye make this deep, dark ale an experience to savor."

Appearance: Pours a medium brown meets orange burst. Crown is 1 finger, dull khaki, shows good retention and some lace.

Smell: Candied sugar takes center stage while raisins, figs, belgian yeast, a hint of banana, and a hint of pepper round it out. Pretty nice!

Taste: Same as nose but the banana is more prominent.

Mouithfeel: Medium body with soft carbonation. Fairly crisp.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel and fairly clean flavors makes this one go down pretty easy. The alcohol also does not have much presence.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appears a fairly clear dark amber color with thin white head. smells a bit boozy, like fermented fruit and belgian yeast.

a bit spicy tasting, a little sweetness, some rye. complex, just hard to pick out all the individual flavors.

medium body, higher carbonation. tasty, unique, I'd try it again

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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 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 ColdPoncho
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a cloudy brown/red, small head.

S - Dark fruit, black pepper, fresh cut grass, citrus hops.

T - Dark fruit, caramel malt, chocolate, black licorice. Light hop finish.

M - epically smooth mouthfeel for the style. full, robust, very smooth.

D - real easy, real tasty, a highly drinkable brew.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep orange, with hint of reddish brown. unfiltered, tan 2 finger up + down head. mighty fine lacing.

S: sweet bread, malt, dates/figs, hint of ginger with honey, mild floral

T/M: malt, bread, spices, dated/figs up front. hint of alcohol, oak, bitter in the finish. medium body, great carbonation feel, hint of prickle on the tongue.

D: WOW! This was a great random pick by me. Was standing in Woodman's (WI grocery chain), ran over the IL/WI border to get hard to find Wisconsin beers. Never heard of this brewery or beer, gave it a whirl AND you should too.

Great brew, not sessionable, the 8% ABV will sneak up on you. Very accessible Belgian Strong Dark Ale for a beginners to Belgian beers.

Cheers to Dave's Brew Farm and welcome to the realm of making good beer to make the world a better place!

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - soft and subtle amber with some yeast residue and a decent sized off-white head. Reddish hues in the light.

S - sweet, candi sugar, raw cider, prunes and dried pears.

T - sweet, tangy and a little tart in the finish. Not as heavy as I had expected and the sweetness isn't cloying. A lot of nice flavors coming together in this brew. Some floral qualities, a little spice and some nice sweet fruits.

M - soft and light for the style

D - love it. very easy to drink and somewhere between a sipper and something a little less so. This is yet another beer that maybe doesn't really want to be put into a certain style category but ends up in one. Definitely 'curious" as the label states and certainly worth trying.

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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 ChimRichels
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle purchased from Dave himself into a pint glass

A - surprisingly orange at first. The yeast, once swirled and poured in, turns it a murky copper. Head retention is

S - Smells of fresh roughage, spices, and an unfamiliar yeast odor that is indescribable. Alcohol is hiding in the background.

T - Sweet, brown sugar notes. Maybe some citrusy hops in there? alcohol is barely noticeable. Very rich and sweet. I find this very difficult to describe in words.

M - Smooth and creamy.

D - I can easily put down a few of these. A very good beer to share with friends.

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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 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 gford217
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Buebie poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy chestnut brown with a sticky tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is sweet with candi sugar, raisins, plums and even some chocolate. The rye is present with a light spiciness in the nose as well as some other spices, maybe cinnamon.

Taste has some sweet fruits and chocolate up front with the bready spice of the rye and maybe a touch of citrus hops. There is also plenty of peppery spice, especially in the finish which leaves the tongue tingling after each sip.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and spicy sweet if that makes sense. It definitely leaves a sting on the palate, part alcohol, part spice.

This is my first brew from Dave's and I'm pretty impressed as this has plenty of complexity and still remains drinkable. I look forward to trying other things from them.

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Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Intriguing spicy Belgian style ale.

Very rich flavors with complex Belgian peculiarities. Raisins and figs in the dark fruity flavors. Butterscotch in the roasted malts. Some touch of hops but not very evident. A sourish finish. Warm chestnut notes.

Appealing ale with many flavors. A little harsh in the back of the mouth. Less drinkable than some Belgian style beers. Definitely intriguing, I'd like to taste other beers from these guys.

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Photo of plfahey
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
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 fear025
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma:Belgian yeast, dark fruits.

Appearance:Deep amber in color, with some floaty bits.

Taste:Nice malty sweetness, caramel, dark fruits. Spicy phenols, including clove. Nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, nice carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability:This is an easy drinking Belgian dark strong ale. It's easily sessionable. It's got some nice complexity to it, but there's not a whole lot to make it stand out from the crowd.

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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 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 Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is described as a curious ale brewed with rye which piqued my interest. 12oz shared with tenderbranson69, poured chilled into a snifter

A -A deep crimson shade w/ translucent clarity and good retention - tiny bead and rings of lace cling w/ some sediment added in indicating a bottle conditioned ale.

S - A slightly fruity ester in the nose w/ mild rye bready type aroma and subtle grainy and alcohol notes

M - A slightly earthy and moderately carbonated feel w/ slight spiced hop tinge and moderate effect of alcohol on the palate w/ med full feel and light sweet finish

T - The taste has a dried fruit and mild toffee-like flavor w/ light piney hop compliment and mild rye in the taste with a candied caramel finish. The alcohol is there is there in the taste but not a strong taste overall.

D - The beer is moderately high in abv which is fine, except that I may not drink many - it has good drinkability for the abv and a tasty beer for the price...I enjoyed this more than I expected I would

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