Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

228 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 228
Hads: 2,086
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 2.51%
Wants: 1,393
Gots: 447 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co. visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Netdigger2 on 02-01-2012

Happy birthday to us! To celebrate our first year as a brewery we brewed a serious imperial stout and aged it on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. This is the first offering in our annual Anniversary series. Here’s to many more!

50 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 2,086
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having had a few Mexican Cakes on draft (At World of Beer in Columbia) I figured I'd check in and update my score a bit.

Fresh draft put into a smallish goblet.

The draft version of Mexican Cake seems to differ in the following ways from my previous review:

A. Longer head retention, and more of it. Some active carbonation. A fine deep red / tan head atop a nearly jet black beer.

S / T. The carbonation level in the beer is vastly improved over the bottle I had, which makes the aroma a little more lively and the taste a great deal less cloyingly sweet. The beer does seem less sweet on draft, and several people at my table who have tried both bottle and draft agreed. The heat and spice balance seems exactly the same.

M. Improved, and is fuller, more lively and less deadening with the benefits that the C02 brings.

Score adjusted accordingly. Quite enjoyable this go around. Go find you some. (906 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

It tastes like they added chalk to a mediocre stout. (52 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Jet black pour with a khaki finger-sized head that vanishes quickly.
S- I get bitter chocolate, big roasty flavors. Some booze.
T- chocolate, roast, you definitely get the cinnamon flavors and the spiciness from the peppers really finish off the sip nicely.
M- heavy-medium feel. Like drinking boozy chocolate cake batter. Moderately carb'ed. Booze hidden well in sip. Actually get more heat from the peppers.
O- glad I got to try this one. Gets lots of hype and deservedly so but I wouldn't quite say world-class. Still, very delicious! (546 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This years is very nice- smooth rich flavor, a touch of heat, nice chocolate and vanilla notes. This is a good one. I had it on tap so I can't vouch for the heat in the bottle- without the heat it wouldnt be anywhere near as good. (230 characters)

Photo of Heady_Eddy
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was built very well, I just couldn't finish it from the creeping heat of the habanero peppers, not my thing. (117 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 5/6/2015->bottle says best consumed fresh, don’t age it: Pours pitch black opaque color with a thick 2 finger brown head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded about average time for a stout leaving decent spotty lacing and rings as it went down. A layer sticks around on top.

Smells of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, light vanilla, coffee grinds, charred wood, roasted malts, oaky notes, smoke, toffee and brown sugar; the spice is evident, but it does not smell like a pepper, especially a habanero. Earthy notes mix well with the chocolate and smoked malts, adding a lot of complexities for basically a one dimensional aroma.

Taste is where all the ingredients on the label show up: the cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon are all quite pronounced and the habanero brings immediate head that does not hurt but adds a whole new aspect and feel to the beer. The heat is like wasabi, it strikes adding some instant heat and flavor, and trails off nicely and allows the malty side show off with appearances by the cocoa powder, dark chocolate, coffee grinds, charred wood, roasted malts, oaky notes, smoke, molasses, toffee, brown sugar and some spices. Seems like piney hops are in the mix along with white pepper and fresh ground black peppercorns, along with a shot of bourbon or whiskey. The alcohol gets covered up by the habanero burn, which warms up the back of your throat and belly in the best way possible for those who like hot peppers or spicy food. The cinnamon and vanilla come on strong at the end with a mild bitterness blending with char and chocolate notes. Considering the level of heat from the habanero this drinks much smoother than it should and remains very interesting and complex with every sip.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and milkshake smooth, with very mild and almost thin carbonation, a medium chewy body that leans towards thick yet slides across the tongue, and then fades slightly bitter like a coffee with a lot of grinds in it and a full slap in the face of heat that stings and then fades slowly as it gets swapped out for dark chocolate, vanilla and spicy cinnamon. The blending and mixture of the main components really keep this dynamic and extremely interesting at the same time. This is an excellent display of brewing craftsmanship to bring such heat and booze so aggressively that results in a complex, tasty beer that flows down so smooth with such a velvety feel even though it seems like you just drank a shot or ate a jalapeño popper.

I got this hoping for a great beer but expecting a novelty beer since it’s billed as a stout with habanero in the blend; it turned out to be a great brew that was changing and evolving with every sip, allowing the pepper heat to add accents which tweaked the beer each and every sip. Shock and awe, this was a great unique beer experience which exceeded my expectations. I thought this was great and hope to have it again some day. A lot of fun and a great combo if you love stouts and love spicy food. (3,005 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Luscious dark chocolate body. Fine, dense, deep-colored mocha head. With a twirl of the glass, the head curtains and easily cascades down the side of the glass.
Smell: The smell is of Mexican hot chocolate, except this drink isn't warm in temperature. Rich, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and sweetness. Faint hints of mole spice.
Taste: See above. Mmmmmmm...The habanero pepper adds a nice little kick. No alcohol detected, maybe I drink too much...Nah.
Feel: Substantial. Silk-smooth. Creamy. Dense.

Overall - I am impressed. I thought the habanero kick would have significantly dissipated, but I was wrong. Better than Hunahpu, no. Better than Xocoveza, yes. Better than Cafe Con Lech, different. Better than Belching Beaver Horchata Milk Stout, different. Nonetheless, these are all different beers with different adjuncts. It does show how much ethnic tastes and flavors can influence beer. This is a high end stout that shows off the Mexican influence. This is definitely something I will seek out in the near future. (1,077 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a really amazing beer, didnt think i would find one in a store on this first round to colorado, but i got lucky up in fort collins. its crazy beer, in the abraxas style, but very very different. the fresh habanero pepper instead of an ancho type makes a huge difference, you get that fleshy pulpy fresh pepper flavor in the beer without the smoky heat in the same way. inky black beer, very dense, heady, and intimidating as a night cap. the habanero flavor is really intense, but the heat is not, just warming in the throat and not lingering. im not a huge chili beer guy, and this is very very drinkable in terms of pepper influence. the cinnamon would be the next strongest of the additives, its spicy in own right, and works amazingly well with the bittersweet dark barley, ashy almost burnt, and thats where the desserty element comes from, the coffee notes in the malt with that cinnamon, its awesome. vanilla and cocoa do more highlighting and accenting as center staging, balancing sweet and bitter elements really well, and also bringing the most out of the malts. its like a cake batter, i see that in the base beer very much, the additives take it to the next lever, crazy really how flavorful this is. its also just so smooth and silky drinking, like the frosting that might be on such a cake. i thought this might be too much pepper for my palate, but i think its right on with the other flavors in here. gets boozy and a little sweet as it warms, but this is a really special beer. make sure you have a partner in crime who you can share this one with, a whole bomber is a serious task! (1,600 characters)

Photo of danh53
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Somehow I expected this to be overrated, but it lived up to expectations. Great chocolate aroma and flavor. So smooth and well balanced. The peppers were not too hot, and the medium mouth feel held everything together quite well. I got some cinnamon and graham cracker sweetness, but I think the cinnamon had faded a little since this bottle was a year old. I look forward to trying this again when it is fresh. (411 characters)

Photo of Beer_Doge
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow.

So chocolate.

Much body.

Such pepper.

Complex.

Wow. (61 characters)

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. You can really smell the habanero peppers and there is a lot of heat up front. It cools off though as you sip this beer and really start to enjoy the coffee and spices. I didn't get a ton of cinnamon which I think is good but you could taste its presence. I really enjoyed this beer, would love to see what one of the barrel aged versions does to the flavor. (371 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got a few bottles of this from various people - thank you to all. The pour is very dark; dark enough to be called black, allowing almost no light to pass through when staring directly at it. The head is a thing of beauty; fine-bubbled, foamy, and mocha in color, it's slow to settle down and leaves pretty decent lacing for a 10%+ ABV imperial stout.

At first, the aroma took me back and seemed just a tad cluttered. Luckily, as things progressed and the beer warmed up a bit, the different aromatic elements started to mesh and intertwine quite nicely, which is a good thing since there's so much going on. I highly suggest letting this one warm a bit before enjoying it.

The nose is heavy with milky chocolates, sweet, sweet vanilla beans, substantial roasted malt, and a light dash of cinnamon. Peppers go somewhat unnoticed in the aroma, and any kind of spiciness noted can probably be attributed to the cinnamon. Very robust smelling, a complex and nice execution of many different parts. Mild leathery notes on the very back end.

The first sip starts off with a beautiful dose of roasted malts before quickly becoming compounded with mounds of cocoa nibs and lively, sweet vanilla. It tastes like a molten fudge cake with warm vanilla drizzle on top. Very sweet, pushing the edge of almost being too sweet, but luckily falling just short and remaining manageable the whole time.

Cinnamon is a bit understated at first, but becomes quite nice with even more warmth; nice, toasty cinnamon flavor without being too spicy on the tongue. Peppers don't add much flavor-wise, but they are appreciated in the form of a lasting tingle on the very back of the throat and tongue. A solid, layered addition without adding any real "heat" to the brew, rendering it undrinkable.

Mexican Cake finishes with a sweet, resounding aftertaste full of nuttiness, vanilla, heavy fudge, a touch of cinnamon, and some tingling pepper presence. The viscous and thick body is just shy of chewy, but feels good for a stout; medium carbonation. I was hesitant to try this because with this list of ingredients, things could easily have gone awry. Luckily the execution was great, and the beer was really quite tasty. (2,199 characters)

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BeerEnergy
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of cjn40277
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Krafty34
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SoCalexican
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An example of Chilies done right! Chocolate and Cinnamon with a clean fresh chili finish. (89 characters)

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev -3%

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.