OK, I skipped last Saturday, after more than a straight month of tasting and explaining. Call it a little holiday. It was, in fact, a holiday technically, if you’re a follower of Catholic tradition. Just imagine I was waiting for the Magi to bring me some beer for the new year. What I have today seems like something you would gift a special someone, as long as they liked beer. It’s Fábrica Maravillas’ 2023 La Cabrona Cuvée. The Cabrona they were making when they started a full decade ago was a Belgian quadruple, dark and meaty, and surprisingly strong for some. A couple of years ago, I first encountered their cuvée, but I was not especially enamored with it. I think passionfruit might have been involved and there was a distinct taste of bubblegum. Not so much to my liking. But, I have such fond memories of Cabrona, that I don’t think twice about giving it another chance, it is another recipe after all, and picked up this little can right from the brewpub. It also has an image you could argue is topical – never forget Disco Baphomet!
It’s a lighter brown than I remember the classic Cabrona being, more like a murky märzen than a Belgian quad. It has a pretty malty and even incense-like aroma, a little bit flowery and more like fruit scent than real fruit. The head is resistant and protective. It tastes very bready up front, not toasty even though there’s also a strong element of smoke. It’s a little bit like a mouthful of smoke from a grain barn fire. The grain part has sweetness, but it doesn’t reveal the expected fruit. It brings me back more to the Cabrona of my memories, a dark, strong beer, and I definitely like it better than the bubblegum result of a few years ago. Praise Disco Cabrona!