Mexican Cake | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

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

Added by Netdigger2 on 02-01-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 2,402
Photo of mmcurran
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Poured into a snifter. Pours black with a slight brown head.
Smell - Great smell of chocolate and peppers.
Taste - Chocolate, roasted malt, mild cinnamon, and peppers up front with an amazing spicy aftertaste and slight burn down the throat. It only gets better as it warms.
Feel - Smooth up front, full body, low carbonation, and great afterburn!
Overall - I love this beer. It's probably my favorite imperial stout. The complex flavors only get better as it warms. No boozy flavor at all.

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Photo of Reds76
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black, cinnamon and habanero aroma. Cocoa and cinnamon flowing through the creamy, thick stout body and finishes with crackling habanero. Minimal carbonation but the tingling from the chile makes it seem a little more carbonated than it is. Beautiful all around. One of the best beers that I have had. Will continue to seek it out whenever I can!

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Photo of DanielMB
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Poured pitch black with a 1 cm head, light tan, almost greyish in appearance. Appropriately, its coloration reminded of the Mexican drink horchata, which, like this brew, is made with cinnamon. It quickly receded to thin, tan lacing around the edges. The lacing got a little darker as the beer sat. This is not the typical light-brown head on an imperial stout. However, the greyish-color goes well with the cinnamon and vanilla flavors in the beer.

Smell: Dominated by cinnamon, with some hops, a little chocolate, some vanilla, and then the habanero peppers in the background. The chocolate aroma became much stronger towards the end, when the beer had warmed up a good bit.

Taste: The first thing that hits the palate is a heavy dose of cinnamon, followed by some vanilla and chocolate, a little coffee, and then ending with a strong aftertaste of peppers. As the beer warmed up, the vanilla taste grew somewhat stronger, with the chocolate and coffee receding. Towards the end, the chocolate became much stronger. The cinnamon taste is predominant for most of the beer, but towards the very end, the peppers assert themselves and are of similar potency, blending brilliantly into the vanilla and chocolate. The spiciness wonderfully complements the hoppiness of the imperial stout, blending together into an explosive, delicious flavor.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, and a huge, explosive surge of spiciness that makes it very thick and intense, but easy enough to drink anyway. It has a sort of heat to it that goes very well with a high ABV, heavily-hopped beer like an imperial stout.

Overall: This is an absolutely spectacular beer, perhaps the best imperial stout I've ever drank, up there with Oskar Blues's Ten FIDY or Great Divide's Yeti. It really does taste like you're drinking some sort of spicy cake. Also, I am not a fan of spicy food, but I loved this beer, so anyone who likewise prefers mild food should not be turned away simply by the habanero peppers. Great Divide's Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti is somewhat similar, but this is far spicier and more explosive. I would highly, highly recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of dar482
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a black color with a large rich coffee brown head.

The aroma has big robust imperial stout with thick roasted malt, rich roasted coffee and dark chocolate, even some cacao nib. Then there's an underlying aroma of cinnamon, vanilla, and general spicy pepper. Nothing too intense like capsaicin or fresh jalapeno.

The flavor is just uncalled for excitement, integration of flavor, and restraint. In the front, there's a roasted malt and coffee, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. There's immediately a rush and explosion of bright pepper flavor. A medium plus spiciness and not too intense, but surely surprising.

The beer follows with a dance of cinnamon and the spice. Then onto vanilla on the back with a drying of roasted malt and coffee, lingering spice, and smooth chocolate.

This is easily one of my favorite beers ever and beats the other spicy stouts like Huna, Bomb!, and Abraxas.

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Photo of ChristinaLynn
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best imperial stout I have ever had. Taste like chocolate coconut cake with an amazing habanero pepper after taste. Mine was served at room temp for best taste. So lucky to have one to try.

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Photo of Metaldude05
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Westbrook does a great job with this one. The chilis are a perfect finish and complement to the richness of the malts and chocolate. Very complex. Stouts are my favorite style so I have tried a lot of them and this one is definitely one of the top 5 I have tried. If you see it buy it

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Photo of Mexicanhat
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell is amazing. Chocolate, roasted malt and peppers. Taste is much the same, actually very spicy on the back end, but in a good way. The feel is slick and medium bodied with good carbonation. Cinnamon is realllll

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Photo of Beer_Line
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A perfect beer here. Everything about this one. The habanero is so well done that it just makes ur mouth tingle and makes the experience that Much better.

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Photo of rubetube56
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, I cannot rate it high enough.

I love how the pepper just hits the back of your palate as the smooth chocolate taste covers the top of your tongue. I think this is the perfect beer, its just a shame that it is so difficult to get if you are not in distribution range.

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Photo of WadeKneece
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had two of these at a bar (Lancero Lounge - Newberry, SC) and It was absolutely a amazing and wonderful experience. The smell was sweet with hints of Nutmeg, and Cinnamon. Initially you taste the sweet Nutmeg and Cinnamon. Then it finishes with a slight heat which all together is AMAZING.

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Photo of W_Des
4.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015. Immediately get the cinnamon in the nose followed by sweet cocoa. It pours black and thin. The habanero finish is fantastic and well done. It is just enough to warm you up as it goes down and it lingers but it doesn't kill you. It's just perfect.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.94/5  rDev +13%
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

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Photo of lbizzle
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Just an exception beer. Lots of beers that work to spice up that heat tend to be thin - but not this beer. It also really brings the heat. I'm not a fan of beers that try to heat things up but it's halfway there. This beer delivers on all fronts and get well-deserved high ratings....

A- Perfect
S - milky w/ spice tones
T- tons of heat just perfect
M- not thin!
O-one of my top beers I've ever had and worth seeking out....

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Photo of tiamat8086
4.91/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mexican Cake 2015.
You get the initial rush of cinnamon on the nose followed by sweet cocoa. The pour is thin with very little head. The habanero finish is fantastic improves as the beer warms. This is one of the best blended beers. The heat is pleasant but not overpowering. It is one of the few beers that I have traded for even having a few bottles in the cellar.

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Photo of beerbalance
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of rachelerin
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of Scruggers
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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

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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of thick head that begins the color of burnt sienna but eventually turns tan as it recedes into a light blanket at the meniscus.

S: Vanilla, cinnamon, bakers chocolate, some nutmeg, charred malts. Pepper notes are present towards the tail end, and only after a hefty whiff.

T: Wow, fantastic! Smooth cinnamon hits first, followed by creamy vanilla, then the bite of the dark chocolate, and some nutmeggy flavors to round everything out. I can't really taste the pepper, but I can feel it upon swallowing, and it lingers in the throat. This one is super complex and very, very delicious.

M: Medium carbonation, and on the lighter-side-of-medium in terms of body, which suits the flavor profile of this beer perfectly, allowing the sweeter notes to dominate up front and the spiciness of the peppers to establish themselves in the finish. The mouthfeel is where I feel this one really shines, and while many would disagree with me, the lighter, but still-full-bodied mouthfeel is what makes Mexican Cake, for me, stand a pedestal higher than Huna.

O: This one is worth the hype and worth seeking out. This is my first Westbrook beer, and has established them as a brewery I will seek more offerings from... this is a total knockout!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The deep poured a deep black color with a modest off-white head. A slight measure of lacing followed the sides of the glass.

Smell - The peppers jump to the front in the aroma. At the same time, the malts and chocolate are very detectable.

Taste - On the initial taste, the peppers jump to the front and burn the tongue. Few people catch the sweetness of a habanero, but it is very present in this brew. Also present in the sweetness of the chocolate which actually is cake-like in quality. There is also something tobacco-like in quality. The spice with chocolate fit perfectly together. The aftertaste watches the spice fade, but leave a peppery trail with the chocolate following close behind.

Mouthfeel - This IS a stout. Thick in quality, the burn lingers without overwhelming and does not overshadow the other notes.

Overall - This is easily one of the best stouts I have ever had, almost magically good. Wow!

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Photo of Scarfer_Brad
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage. Poured in snifter. nice light head about 3/8" with staying power. Jet black. smell of peppers and chocolate coffee and a hint of cinnamon. can taste the cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon followed by a slight heat from the peppers that never goes to a burn. a nice silky smooth cool feel as hits your lips then tongue just flowing down your throat. first taste of the base Cake and wow one of the best

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Photo of MCCarrigan
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Everything in balance. Each adjunct is perceptible and contributes harmoniously. A total pleasure to drink. A true craft brew. Surpasses Abraxas IMO. I'd love to try the BA versions, but worry that some of the nuances that make it so delicious would get drown out. A must try for all stout fans.

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Photo of Sparkk
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Fresh batch so it was bringing some heat. Loved the habanero spice being so present if only to balance out the density of the other favors. As with many other "Mayan stouts", better as it warms though fell off at a certain point a few degrees above room temp.

Overall, one of my new favorite beers. Can't wait to find and enjoy some more very soon.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of PirateLes
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic with a little burn on the tail end. Got mine via growler from BTBX in Huntsville, AL. It made a 400 mile trek and was just what the Dr ordered!

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic. All of the ingredients in this beer are put together wonderfully. Everything is completely balanced. I believe they got the heat from the peppers just right. Would love to try the other renditions of this beer.

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.