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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: 288 | Ratings: 2,482
Photo of gburns2767
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where's the heat. After enjoying this beer each year I was a bit underwhelmed by the lack of heat in this years batch. I hope it is not a trend. I am now for 2017's batch.

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Photo of jcflorian
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Jet Black with thin mocha head.
Smell- Cocoa, Cinnamon, Vanilla . Loved the smell
Taste- Up front chocolate with vanilla second in line but the peppers are def there leaving a hot aftertaste I have not experienced before.
Mouthfeel was medium
Overall- While I have def had better imperial stouts, this was enjoyable. I can see how the pepper would def turn some people off, as I did not expect the aftertaste from it. That being said, I am stoked I was able to try it and would down the road def drink this again if I had opportunity.

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Photo of gibgink
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Having had Abraxas many times and Hunahpu the same day as trying this, I would say that Mexican Cake is the "hottest" incarnation of the three. The cinnamon is still present, which is good, and there is an ever so slight chocolate flavor in the background. Very well done.

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Photo of MattyTibbs
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesomeness in a glass. Being from New England, the legend was pretty much unattainable. Weekend trip to ATL, out to Cypress Street Pint & Plate, found MC on tap... got the last glass in keg!! Lucky guy, this guy here. Hopefully I'll get the chance to get some more in the future, but if I don't, It'll still be the best stout I've ever consumed. Word

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Photo of MacMalt
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter. It pours a color between a dark mahogany and jet black with a think, mocha-colored head and lacing. Despite a hard pour, the head dissipates quickly. It smells of roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and the habanero peppers. It's an extremely fragrant stout. The first taste sensation is dark chocolate and burnt coffee, followed by vanilla, cinnamon, and the peppers. It finishes with a nice peppery heat. Despite its 10.5% ABV, it is not overly boozy; it lets the peppers provide both heat and flavor. It has a medium-chewy mouthfeel and is overall very pleasant to drink. Overall, Mexican Cake is delicious and fun to drink. It richly deserves its world-class rating. I'm really happy to have finally tried it.

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

This is a fantastic beer. Dark, thick, brown head and no lacing. The nose is vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and sweetness. There is a bit of heat in my nostril. The taste is amazing sweet chocolate with perfectly balanced cinnamon and vanilla. There is a wee bit of heat from the pepper. What a great beer.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2016 version

Look is just black with no head and no lacing, nothing special

Smell - Chocolate, vanilla, and spicy peppers. awesome smell.

Taste - 2016 is much milder on the spice than years previous, but I prefer that. (Also side note: can't believe I haven't reviewed the most sought after beer in my state until now). But the chocolate and vanilla is awesome and the mild habaneros with cinnamon compliment it perfectly. Sweet, bitter, spicy all in perfect unison.

Feel - Light body for an 11% stout. Mild carbonation

Overall - Well done this year. I rate this higher than in years past but if you love spice you won't like 2016 as much as I do

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

From a bomber ('16) in a stout glass. Rich aroma; complex cinnamon-chocolate taste. The habaneros are just warm enough to make it feel like molten lava cake straight from the oven.

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Photo of gerite
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 Bomber brewed last week. Poured an opaque-black color with a brown foamy head with good lacing leaving a slight tint to the glass. Very smooth without much carbonation. Lots of spiciness from the cinnamon and peppers without a lot of bitterness. Was everything I expected it to be.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate notes with roasted malt is pretty nice. Taste is a nice mix of roasted malt and black chocolate with some residual sugar notes, some cinnamon notes and some spicy peppers notes which really only become noticeable in the aftertaste. Body is quite full with nice creamy notes and good carbonation. Solid imperial stout thought spicy notes becomes a bit too much for my liking.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on one. 2015 version, poured into a snifter.

Pour is jet black, viscous and slightly oily. Hits the glass with absolutely no head initially, and bubbles up to a half finger khaki color. Settles to a small ring. Minimal retention because of this.

Smell is deep chocolate, roasted malts and hints of vanilla. Not much of a cinnamon or pepper profile until it warmed up, then it came out a little bit. Still very subtle.

Taste totally makes up for the nose. Chocolate and roasted malts initially, then subtle cinnomon comes through than you get that pop of habanero pepper in the back end. I found the spicy linger very enjoyable. Similar to the nose, the heat is more noticable as it warms.

Mouthfeel is low carbonation, velvety and very smooth.

Very impressive pepper stout. Comparing this to Bomb, the only other pepper stout I've had, this one definitely had more of heat going on especially as it warms. More viscous and flavorful as well.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 bomber. Had this pretty fresh last year and now tasting again about a year old. If anything there was more heat possibly due to some of the chocolate fading. Overall still plenty of chocolate in the aroma and the taste with a popping spicy finish. Thin to medium silky mouthfeel. This is an excellent pepper stout I will be seeking more of in years to come.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this next to Abraxas, Huna, and Bomb! Mexi was the spiciest of the set, but with little pepper flavor. The base stout came through very well with notes of chocolate and vanilla

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Photo of Sabtos
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Motor oil black, with a dark mocha head that is very thin and fizzy and does not retain at all aside from a thin ring. Shimmering curtains of miniature, caviar-like bubbles coat the glass after each sip and quickly glide down.

It does in fact smell like chocolate cake batter, with no foreshadowing of the upcoming spice or heat whatsoever. Actually, more appropriately, its aroma is reminiscent of chocolate cherry cake. Cinnamon blooms with some smokey roastiness only as it has warmed.

Habanero heat tentacles climb around the edges of the cheeks and hit you in the back of the throat right off of the first sip. Black cherry and cinnamon follow shortly after. Chocolate takes a back seat, but as is typical of the habanero calling card, heat builds and builds. Fortunately it stops after a certain level, never becoming overwhelming, at least for me. Although, the first few sips had a little heat venting out through the nose.

If you had Xocoveza, Bomb, and Huna, and wondered where the heat was, this is the beer that will do it for you. All others should probably stay away. This has some scovilles that you can actually feel heating up the belly.

Mexican Cake has a medium body and is slightly frothy, but is also a bit thinner than I'd like.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour into a taster. Chocolate and vanilla and a bit of cinnamon and nice heat from the habaneros. Interesting beer but a bit thinner than I had hoped.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Look is pitch black with little to no head.

Aroma is a lot of roasted chocolate with a hint of pepper.

Body is thin but flavor is full. Sweet chocolate with a hot pepper finish.

Excellent balance, nice sipper.

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Photo of Dunkelganger4
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Motor oil black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly
Aroma: Deep rich chocolate and vanilla sweetness with the peppers and cinnamon gently coming through.
Taste: The chocolate and the vanilla appear immediately with the cinnamon showing up through the entire taste. The habanero peppers are perfectly done adding only a hint of spiciness on the finish that offers a relief from the sweetness and furthers the complexity. There's absolutely no alcohol coming through.
Mouthfeel: Rich velvety and full mouthfeel with medium-low carbonation. The richness of the beer coats the mouth like a decadent dessert
Overall: It's fucking awesome.

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Photo of tregan_20
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade and poured into a snifter. Overall, I think this is a great beer but you have to enjoy a little bit of heat on the back end (just warning you).

L: Dark as expected; small amout of head
S: Somewhat milky with a hint of spice
T: Tastes great with a good amount of heat; just perfect
M: Mouth feel is smooth, not too thin. Again, the heat is on the back end.
O: This is definitely worth seeking out and trying, even if you do not enjoy the heat aspect. Cheers!

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Photo of smanson56
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark black color into my snifter glass with a dark tan head. The nose is strong with the cinnamon and peppers coming to the front for me. The taste follows the nose with the cinnamon, and cocoa coming through in the front and the pepper bite is in the back a real nice blend of flavors. The mouth feel is smooth and creamy. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet black, light tiny off white tan head that hugs the edges of the glass. Aroma has bright cinnamon at the dront, followed by chocolate roast and subtle underlying sweetness. Nice rich mouthfeel with tastes of clean spice from the habanero, sweet chocolate, nutty roast. An amplified Abraxas, smooth and delicious with a kick!

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Photo of Slack
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

At Husk, poured two glasses from a double deuce.

Dark and opaque with minor brown accented head of about an inch. Significant lacing present.

I am clearly picking up the chocolate, cinnamon, and pepper. The vanilla are alcohol are there too but not dominate and only presented themselves as the beer warmed .

Taste is minor sweet chocolate upfront mixed with vanilla and a very mild peppery finish.

Mouthful is medium but creamy and velvetly. Carbonation is low. Finish is lingering.

Wow. This was a great beer that maintained balance between sweetness and spice throughout. Very enjoyable and shareable. I will seek this out again.

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Photo of mothman
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Black in color.

Roasted malts. The chili peppers don't show until the finish. The Cinammon and vanilla show in the finish as well. Everything good shows in the finish. Chocolate all around.

Medium to full bodied.

Solid beer, but I wish more showed up front.

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Photo of WalkerHater
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I hate chilli stouts. This beer smells and tastes amazing. Absolute top 5, bit then that fucking habanero kicks in and burns my throat. I knew what I was getting into, so it's no real surprise, but the burn in quite harsh. Amazing beer, but ruined by that heat!

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Photo of floridadrift
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Black, tan head, lacing retains for some time.
S: Spices
T: Lacking huge in the flavor department. Mostly spices come through, don't get much else.
F: Semi-smooth body, somewhat watery
O: Poor and bare in flavor, nowhere near Hunahpu. Insane how this base beer gets transformed into something incredible with bourbon or other spirits.

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Photo of Damian
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at The Well, Brooklyn, NY
Bottled on: 5/8/15
Served in a snifter

Review #1125

Super oily and viscous, near pitch black appearance. Shimmery and ominous looking in the glass. The liquid was topped by a wisp of saddle brown froth that quickly dissolved to a thin collar.

The aroma was amazingly enticing and intense. Chocolate fudge notes dominated. Rich, dark and robust. Chocolate syrup also came to mind. Subtle spice notes. Cinnamon was detectible. Loads of brown sugar as well. Bit of molasses. As the beer sat, the nose opened up even more. The spice notes intensified. Both the cinnamon and nutmeg became much stronger. I also picked up some vanilla.

The flavor profile was solid but a bit less nuanced. Bakers chocolate appeared on the front end, but it was quickly overshadowed by the intense roasted malt notes. Hint of vanilla sweetness in the center. Bitter espresso appeared on the back end along with a touch of smoke. Chili pepper notes rounded out the beer in the finish. The spiciness really hit hard in the back of my throat and crescendoed after the swallow. I definitely felt some warmth in my stomach as well. Roasty notes lingered. As the beer warmed, a bit more sweetness came forth. Brown sugar was detectible. Touch of nutmeg as well.

The mouthfeel was solid. Medium-full bodied for the style. Oily. Creamy, plush and smooth on the palate.

Mexican Cake was an enjoyable beer, but there are definitely a number of other Mexican chocolate-type stouts that I would take over this. Perhaps a fresher bottle would display stronger baking spice notes and more sweetness to help balance out the heat of the habanero peppers.

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.