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Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

723 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 723
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%

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:
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 added by: Netdigger2 on 02-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 723 | Reviews: 121 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheCuriograph

New York

4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Ridiculous psyched to snag a growler of such a storied beer at Bierkraft. Living in the Slope definitely has its benefits.

A - Jet black, with a tan finger head. Monolithic like a good imperial stout.

S - Massive dark roast coffee with notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and pepper. Overtones of smoke and ethanol.

T - Wow. Burst of Dark chocolate and coffee tempered with vanilla and caramel, but all of this gives way to a sharp, smoky spice from the habaneros. Resolves the taste and clears the palate, leaving a smoke and chocolate memory before the next sip. Alcohol is expertly masked.

M - Heavy thick and creamy. Sticks to your mouth like it knows you want it to stay.

Wonderfully singular brew. Happy that I have another fifty-two ounces. I'll be sad to see the end of it.

The Curiograph

Serving type: growler

07-25-2013 00:14:57 | More by TheCuriograph
Photo of rachelerin

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got to try this from one of my neighbors that brings over beer! We poured it into some port wine snifters, at a little above white wine temperature.

It pours jet black with lots of loose tan head and leaves streaks all over the glass. It is pretty thick.

The smell is overwhelmed by fresh cinnamon rolls, chocolate, and hot peppers. It smells like it is going to be a bit spicy.

The flavor is incredible. It is sweet, but not cloying- more like rich velvety chocolate, accompanied by cinnamon rolls and smooth vanilla. There is the slightest hint of pepper at the end, but it is very welcomed to balance the other flavors. This reminds me of a marble chocolate cake that my grandmother used to bake with peanut butter stuffed carmelized peppers, exceptional balance.

The slight carbonation was consistent throughout and it sits pretty heavy.

I wouldn't drink more than 1 throughout an evening, but I cannot think of a better way to end a nice time with friends. It was much better than the Cigar City Hunahpu's we compared it to.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 12:50:17 | More by rachelerin
Photo of Scruggers

4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first review. I'll stick with the format mdaschaf used before me on this post:

A: Black with a thick, tan head

S: Sweet, thick aroma with chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, with a note of tart fruit. The tartness is just a bit overdone in my opinion and keeps it from a perfect score

T: Rich, chocolate start leveling to vanilla and cinnamon, finishing with a lingering spice

M: Full-bodied feel. It's the spice at the end that sets this beer apart for me. A perfect heat that holds until the next sip, but doesn't overwhelm

O: One of the top 2-3 beers I've tasted. Feels like an imperial stout should - rich and full-bodied, but very complex in it's taste. The spice finish is perfectly executed. It's dessert all by itself. Made me want to start writing about beer. I hope all of you get to try this beer

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2012 23:23:15 | More by Scruggers
Photo of beerbalance

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was an absolute pleasure! So complex, so rewarding. The flavors are expertly layered in so you can taste them all. The finish is long and wonderful with the spiciness coming on at the end. The more you drink the warmer you feel from the spice. Next year I will purchase an entire case of this wonderful beverage! There are so many beers out there that are trying to make "gimmick" beers with all sorts of odd ingredients, but this beer is a symphony of taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 21:07:38 | More by beerbalance
Photo of alaimoa


4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Hard to find this bad boy but I was able to get to the one store up here on the east coast that had it in NY. Had originally at The FESTIVAL in Portland, ME on 6/22/13 as my first taster and it was phenomenal. I describe it as a jet black pour with a little brown head. Super creamy, silky with a great medium/heavy body. Can definitely get perfect malt notes with cocoa, vanilla and a strong heat backbone that originally could be mistaken for alcohol but I think its the habanero peppers..

Overall a gem and despite the bottle saying don't age I picked up 4 so I might keep one to see how it tastes with a year or two on it in the cellar. I would seek this beer out and buy it any time I see it.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 21:44:30 | More by alaimoa
Photo of Netdigger2

South Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to GBX! Poured at around 55* into a chalice. Much better once it warms, let it get to or above 60* before tasting, it really opens up in a great way!

Pours black with dark mocha head. Very viscous and great lacing.

Nose is subdued, but some chipotle pepper spice, imported chocolate, sugar cane, cinnamon coated dipped peppers, vanilla and cocoa.

Taste is sweet chocolate, slight pepper spice, graham crackers, light roast and deep french vanilla. Amazing.

Medium body with great, light carbonation. Fantastic balance.

- One of the highlights of the year and one of the best I've had. Ever.- It's that good

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 20:23:32 | More by Netdigger2
Photo of twizzard

New York

4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wasn't sure what I'd think about the spicy end of this beer as I'm a 'mild wings' kind of guy....But wow! What an an amazing beer! Poured half the bomber and felt I'd have to save the other half til tomorrow. But besides the fact that I have a drinking problem, this was just too damn good to save til tomorrow. Grab one of these and drink it now or tomorrow, but drink it.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2013 01:16:52 | More by twizzard
Photo of KVNBGRY


4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From bottle..

Appearance - Opaque deep brown with a thin lingering dark latte head. Sticky lacing was left on my taster glass.

Aroma - Oak and chocolate...

Taste - Oh man. Chocolate, buttered biscuit, oak, slight vanilla, and true pepper burn.

Mouthfeel - Sticky, full bodied, spicy dessert sipper.

Overall - In the same realm as Hunahpu, but still not quite as balanced. I'd like to do a side by side. and I'd also like to try a barrel aged version..

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 18:37:53 | More by KVNBGRY
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

westbrook is made here in my state- so i have been excited to try their beers since they have started showing up. the first few i tried werent that great to me but i kept trying them and over the past years their beers have gotten better and the last few i have tried have been really good- and i even keep some of their "white thai" around almost all of the time.

this mexican cake is pretty great. its an imperial stout and pour opaque, just like i like my stouts. the head is a nice chocolate brown. the smell is sweet and spicy. the taste is chocolate which a slight burn at the back end due to the habenero peppers and the 10.5% abv. this is a great beer and i will look forward to picking up every year when the release a batch. i also look forward to other beer from westbrook- they seem to get better and better.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 00:42:03 | More by mattkoon
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark midnight black, with more than enough sufficient lighting this brew is still opaque with small bubbles towards the head of the body. The head itself is a quite darker tan rising to maybe 1/4".

Smell: What a deep aroma, sweet coffee with a hit of mocha. You don't smell this beer you inhale it.

Taste: This beer adds something new that you don't see too often, it gives you a hit of pepper with it's strong coffee bean feel. Jesus the molasses and the coffee, some sweet bitterness that is crazy addicting.

Mouth: Paired properly with the right food, the stickiness alone is almost perfect. Medium, and so smooth.

Overall: Borderline perfect, an easy top ten all around beer considering there so many out there and definitely a top five Imperial Stout. Ridiculously complex with a little bit of everything going on. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 00:13:29 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives pitch black with a cap of espresso foam that curtains lace

Smell: Smoky chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon with a roasted chile undertone

Taste: Smoky chocolate and vanilla, up front, with the cinnamon flavors arriving just ahead of the habanero pepper; gets rather hot, after the swallow, when the brown sugar flavors arrive to moderate the heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is a really unique beer and another extraordinary ale from Westbrook

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 01:26:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of ThickNStout


4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from The Greenville Beer Exchange (Greenville, SC). $11.99. Bottled 1/25/12. Served in my trusty $2 snifter.

Pours midnight black with about 1 finger cappucino head that recedes quickly. Small spots of lacing left intermittently. A nice looking stout. 

Smells awesome. Chocolate, roasty malts, woodsy vanilla and peppers. They all come to the front. I kept going back to enjoy the ever changing array of aromas. 

Outstanding complex flavor. Dark bittersweet chocolate leads and remains throughout. Burnt malts, dark fruits, vanilla and wood follow- all playing major roles with that ever present chocolate. Very slight chilli burn towards the finish. Like most imperial stouts, things get so much better as it warms. All those intense flavors completely cover the 10.5% abv. 

Nice creamy thick feel. The light carbonation works very well for the style. The tiny bubbles really help the tastes tingle on the tongue. 

Wow! I should have bought alot more of this. A very well crafted and complex stout that goes down easily. This is my first experience with Westbrook Brewing- I'll have to keep an eye on them to see what their future brings. If you like big stouts, this one is worth a try. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this developes over the next 12-18 months. 

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 05:25:55 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of ScaryHairy44


4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this beer from a stone snifter last night. It poured black with a head that was a lighter tint than what I expected. The smell gave away the roast, vanilla, cocoa nibs and even a hint of spice. The taste was fantastic though. All previous smells that I stated were prevolent in the taste, plus a huge amount of habanero peppers. Overall it's one of the best beers I've ever had and would trade for it again in a heart beat!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 17:20:54 | More by ScaryHairy44
Photo of rjknyy


4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 32oz growler courtesy of Growlers in Hilton Head, SC.

Appearance is as you would expect from an imperial stout, very dark and thick with about an inch of tan head, a beautiful thing.

Smell is very nice as you get a little bit of the pepper, cocoa and vanilla. I am not really picking up any of the cinnamon but I am getting a good bit of alcohol.

Taste is out of this world, fantastic! I was worried when I smelled the alcohol but it really is undetectable in this upon drinking. You get tons of cocoa and vanilla with just the smallest hit of the cinnamon and pepper. Everything balances out so well, that it is very easy to drink.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and has the perfect amount of carbonation. It goes down too easy.

After drinking this beer I am sad that I didn't pick up any of the 22oz bottles that were for sale. What a great beer, I really hope this makes in to the regular rotation for Westbrook or at least comes out every year for their anniversary.

Serving type: growler

02-05-2012 22:20:58 | More by rjknyy
Photo of dar482

New York

4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a black color with a espresso looking foamy head.

The aroma is huge an delicious. Sweet roasty malt, vanilla, spice of the cinnamon. Tons of sweet chocolate.

The first thing that you get is the creamy espresso mouthfeel. It's absolutely amazing.

Then the flavor hits you with a bittersweet chocolate with some interesting spice. Then the spiciness hits that hits the middle back of your mouth and then towards the front end of your throat. It's spicy and tingly, but not offensive. It's middling and works with the chocolate very well.

It cleans up quite well with the spiciness and reminds of Imperial Biscotti with its chocolate and wonderful creamy mouthfeel.

A very interesting and exciting beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2014 06:43:54 | More by dar482
Photo of common_dissent

South Carolina

4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Release poured into a Brawley's snifter and allowed to warm up considerably, but shy of room temperature. Third time this year cracking open a bomber of the best milk stout on the market! The spice at the end is almost superfluous, but it's the thought that counts. Right? It can actually generate some heat after a few pints. Definitely more heat than the Great Divide's excellent Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti. Overall, excellent appearance, taste, mouth feel, nose, if it were a year-round release it would definitely usurp my favorite offerings by Founders and Great Divide.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 18:59:17 | More by common_dissent
Photo of Apom

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was a great beer from my home state of South Carolina and seems to be popular for trades as well. The heat from the habanero peppers was perfect on this creating a complex tasting stout that couldn't be mistaken for anything else. You don't feel the heat from the peppers until a few seconds after it washes down and your mouth has already been coated with those classic imperial stout characteristics. I highly recommend trying this beer and I hope to pick up some of the barrel aged versions of this as well. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 13:09:35 | More by Apom
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a DFH snifter.

Black with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is loads of cocoa with a hint of hot pepper. Flavor follows with lots of cocoa, some roasted malts and a nice lingering spice. The habanero is well blended and not over the top. Great balance! A creamy texture with a nice low carbonation.

Fantastic! Interesting but balanced and well behaved. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 22:37:18 | More by GJ40
Photo of mverity


4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle from Hop City in Atlanta. Pours a pitch black with milk chocolate head that held pretty well. Medium collar and fair lacing. Aroma is deeply roasted malt, slight spice, slight vanilla. Taste has a warmth from the habenero, very dark earthy-sweet malt, slight vanilla. Rich body and mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 03:58:49 | More by mverity
Photo of Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bomber into a Smuttynose tulip. Bottled a month and a half ago.

Appearance- Pitch black with 2 fingered fluffy mocha head that lasted about 3 minutes. Gorgeous lacing.

Smell- Choclate, cinnamon, coffee, vanilla. Dark stone fruit. No booze.

Taste- Similar to the smell, but with heavier cinnamon and very light chili. The Habanero leaves a nice mild burn at the end though.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light. No hint of booze. Very drinkable. Nice thickness.

Overall- I'd say that this is a new permawant. Sooo good.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 17:48:57 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of Jacurdy60


4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a snifter. Freshness date read 5/15/13.

A-Pours a viscous, motor oil color black with a thick, rich and smooth toffee colored head. Brilliant. The head retains fairly well and the foam cascades down the glass when I sip it leaving behind almost no lacing, surprisingly.

S-The booze and habanero peppers hit you at first but it fades smoothly into a symphony of chocolate cake, dry wheat, cocoa nibs, and flour. A lot of depth and nuance to this brew.

T-The booze isn't as present here as it was in the nose, thankfully. This tastes exceptional. The spice is aggressive at the front but is countered by a lovely sweetness. The middle and the back of the palate combine to introduce a lovely taste of bitter dark chocolate, subtle notes of coffee, sweet chocolate cake, and then a lingering spicy bite. The nuances in this beer are incredible.

MF-Not as thick as I typically like my stouts, and I assume thats because of the spice. It finishes a bit dry. My least favorite aspect of this brew.

O-World-class. It's an annual summer release so if you see it, buy it. It's up there with the other imperials. Plus, it's very unique.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 01:43:03 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: thick pitch black beer in a stout flute glass; dense head of mocha foam

S: sweet chocolately malts, fudge, the suggestion of spice in the air

T: chocolate fudgy-ness and then the sizzle of pepper; layers of dark chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon spice - and the habanero peppers! This beer is exactly what is says on the label - sweet, but with a drying spicy/peppery-ness that balances it out perfectly - and they have a Mexican Coffee Cake version? OMG.

M: the beer itself is dense and viscous, but doesn't leave a tacky coating (probably the pepper and spice's doing); hot pepper will tingle your tongue and throat right off the bat and throughout the drink

O: you have to try this, assuming you enjoy that chili pepper heat in a stout - super dense, rich, and delightful - its one of those beers that, if you can get your hands on to try, you do.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 01:32:12 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of jsanford


4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, motor-oil black with a dense mocha head that fades to a slight haze and soapy ring. Big aromas of chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla, along with dark roasted malt and a touch of chilies. Decadent as hell. Oh man...flavors of chocolate syrup, dark malt, cinnamon, and vanilla beans are so intense, and yet this is so drinkable. Rich chocolate completely envelops the palate, and the heat from the peppers builds gradually until you have a nice tingly sensation on your lips. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit chewy, with a full body and fairly low carbonation. Great dessert beer. Overall an amazing Westbrook offering, I can wait to try the barrel-aged versions I've seen in his barrel room ;)

Serving type: growler

07-10-2012 22:27:58 | More by jsanford
Photo of BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler poured into a snifter at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Jet black color with a 2-finger brown frothy head. Nice retention as the head fades down slowly into a thin layer of froth that lingers on the beer’s surface throughout. Really nice lacing.

S – The first thing that is apparent is the kick from the added cinnamon and peppers. A strong stout backbone is also there with aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate malts, plum esters, and vanilla.

T – Starts off sweet with chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit flavors. As the taste progresses, the cinnamon and peppers come into play and turn up the heat. This added spice sticks around while the roasted coffee bitterness creeps in and lasts throughout the finish. A little bit of alcohol becomes apparent at the finish, as well. Very tasty.

F – Full-bodied with pretty good carbonation, a rich and creamy mouthfeel, and a spicy, slightly bitter, and slightly dry finish. All of the flavors in this thing linger, but cinnamon spice lingers the longest. The heat from the spices melds with the throat-warming sensation that appears at the finish from the alcohol.

O – This beer is awesome. If you took away the “Mexican” kick, it would still be a good stout. The cinnamon and peppers only make it that much better and more unique. This has all the usual notes of a well-done stout plus more. Another job very well done by Westbrook. I’m so pumped that I got to try this one, and I hope they decide to brew it again.

Serving type: growler

09-07-2012 04:25:53 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Photo of jshusc

South Carolina

4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure: Westbrook does no/very little wrong. MC is by far my favorite of their offerings however, and this beer really hits on a lot of notes for me.

A: Dark, dark, and dark. Small, dark brown head. This beer is brooding from the appearance onward...

S: The smell of this brew really stands out to me. The peppers smell on the front end, but taste on the back. A chocolatey richness comes through as well.

T: Not as alcohol forward as I expected, but good and strong. Love the burn of the peppers at the finish. Dense and bold flavoring.

Can't go wrong with this brew, and if discussing Westbrook with a newbie, this is the one I'd point to in order to display their ingenuity, creativity and the complexity they can achieve in a beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 21:26:08 | More by jshusc
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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.