Anyone who lives up here in the North-Country knows that northerly winds in the wintertime bring frigid unpleasantness. In Minnesota we call them Alberta Clippers. In Spain there are twin arctic winds. The first is called Descuernecabras, the wind that dehorns goats. The second, more vicious twin bears the morbid moniker Matacabras, the wind that kills goats.
Matacabras is also the name of a not-so-menacing beer from Dave’s BrewFarm in Wilson, Wisconsin. The name is appropriate however, as the wind can blow a mean-streak up on the rural ridge where the BrewFarm is situated. It blows hard enough to drive the wind turbine that provides a good percentage of the brewery’s power. As to whether it kills goats…you’ll have to ask Farmer Dave.
Here’s my notes:
Aroma: Toasted bread crust maltiness supports the light banana and sugar sweetness of Belgian yeast. Brown sugar mingles with some intriguing fruitiness; candied oranges, raisins, figs. Faint floral aromas float on top.
Appearance: A rocky, ivory-colored head that persists reasonably well. Dark orange/amber color with moderate haze.
Flavor: An herbal, peppery bite of hops and rye greets the tongue at first. That fades mid-palate to reveal toasty, bread-crust malt and loads of candied fruit flavors, brown sugar, raisins, bananas, and a faint tart citrusy note. Alcohol is noticeable and welcome. Finishes dry, with final spicy bite that resolves into long-lingering candied fruit.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium-full bodied. Medium-high carbonation lightens it up, but brings some carbonic bite in the beginning. Warming alcohol.
Overall Impression: A Belgian barleywine? An English Dubel? Maybe and Anglo-Belgian Imperial Dunkel? Matacabras offers an ever-changing mix of flavors that roll riotously from one thing to another; at times resolving in articulated layers and at others collapsing together into a chaotic clump. But always that beautiful bread crust.