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Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Educational use only; do not reuse.

252 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 252
Hads: 2,217
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 26.32%
Wants: 1,445
Gots: 485 | FT: 53
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 252 | Hads: 2,217
Photo of scvance
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Edition. Poured from 22oz. bottle into a snifter glass. Pours pitch black, with a velvet smooth dark tan head. Very thick, almost syrup like consistency. Decent head retention. Smell is very roasted, with dark chocolate and vanilla notes. Slight coffee and cherry notes as well. Taste is very rich, chocolate, sweet that fades to a biter finish with a lasting tingle from the habaneros. Mouthfeel is very thick and smooth, low carbonation.

Would definitely drink this beer again given the chance, however I think that's unlikely considering how lucky I was to get a single bottle.

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a small snifter from the bottle.

A: Pours incredible dark, almost black, with a highly viscous appearance.
S: Lots of chocolate on the nose, some roast, and overall rich maltiness. Chili pepper is very faint and you could easily miss it.
T: Incredibly rich in chocolate malt with a bit of roastiness and a strong chili heat in the finish. Peppers are not dominant in the flavor itself, but really stand out in the finish.
M: This is where the chili peppers really pop. The beer is rich, slightly creamy, and smooth, and then you get the tingly heat all over your mouth and down your throat from the peppers.
O: Fantastic! Probably the best chili beer I have ever had; perfect balance between malt and heat and is not dominated by either.

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Photo of BrianJohnson
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had the 2014 release. I was a bit concerned about the habanero-pepper aging. But no worries. The vanilla and cocoa nibs tones it down completely, so all you're left with is just a hint of the peppers. Very unique. Almost had the taste and aftertaste of a milk stout. Thoroughly enjoyable beer - too bad it's only once a year. What a fantastic beer!!

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

Bottled 5-22-14. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer pours jet black, with a filmy, slick, dark tan head. Nose of bitter chocolate, chili heat, tobacco, vanilla, and spicy wood. Flavors are bitter dark chocolate and cocoa nib, with a subtle pepper build of spice and heat, with vanilla highlights. Smooth, dry body that supports the dry and spicy palate perfectly. Bittersweet chocolate and subtle pepper aftertaste, with a dry, smooth finish. Awesome beer!

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured selfishly into a Duvel tulip style glass. Liquid comes out the color of dark french roast coffee, but fudgier looking because it looks thick coming out of the bottle. As it rises in the glass it's completely opaque covering the glass, no highlights. Tan head, small bubbles, frothy looking with better than average lacing.

Smells good. Has aromas of sweet after dinner chocolate fudgeiness that's prominent. Some slight hints of a vanilla flavored dark roasted coffee as well, more coffee than vanilla though, almost like an espresso. Dark sweet bread aromas come out with almost like a sweet chili undertone that tickles your nose, like a chili based jam.

Wow does this beer taste great. Everything above is expanded upon. In addition to the sweet chocolate fudge there are also bitter-sweet chocolate tones, like a bittersweet coco powder. Burned almost charred caramel and a nice bready sweetness again. Vanilla is much stronger in the flavor than aroma and it's very pleasant. Slight hop flavor detected, but masked from the habaneros which aren't really very flavorful, but provide that sweet heat. Really unique great tasting beer with a lot going on.

Mouthfeel has a lot going on too. In fact my wife actually tried it and said the same thing "boy that has a lot going on." Full bodied with a nice lingering flavor. Moderate carbonation level that is smooth with a nice dry, earthy, bitter and slightly hot finish. The heat from the habenaros almost provide a bourbon barrel like heat, but not quite. Crazy drinkablility, I expected to be sipping on this all night, but I'm about 2/3's of the way through and haven't even started dinner yet. I know I should have shared this, but it really can be consumed by one's self if they are a beer/stout lover. Love to try this one again, great beer. Thanks Paschal for an awesome trade, you're the man!!

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

Appearance: Pours black and viscous, as an Imperial Stout should. A head never really gets going and what little remnants of what tried to be one collared quickly.

Smell: Vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malt, dark chocolate. There is definitely an underlying aroma of the habanero...I wonder if I would have been able to sniff it out blind?

Taste: Begins with dark chocolate, followed by a splash of vanilla and then as the aforementioned subside, you're left with some roast. Soon after the roast creeps in, the habaneros rear their heads, making themselves present with a bit of a burn in the back of the throat, under everything that had established itself beforehand. If you don't like hot wings, peppers and the like, I could see the burn at the end being off-putting, but it's right up my alley...I actually offered a sip to my gf just to see her cringe, but unfortunately, she declined.

Mouthfeel: Pretty velvety and smooth. The viscosity is nowhere near BCBS/Hunahpu. I feel like any less body and people would complain that it's thin, but it's just thick enough to enjoy and be able to down a whole bomber without it becoming fatiguing.

Overall: A solid beer that I'm glad I got to try...I definitely need to get a fresh one the next time around. I've heard people say that the peppers drop out with age, and this bottle is almost a year old, but there is definite heat at the end that doesn't go unnoticed.

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Photo of mverity
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Stystembolaget, Sweden. Bottled july 3 - 2013.

Pitch black beer with a brownbeige head that´s almoust two finger high.
The head dissolves without leaving any lacing on the glass and no sign of the head after about ten minutes.

Nose: Milk chocolate, coffee beans, cacao, dark bread, spices, black pepper, oak and roasted malt.
Taste: Espresso, dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt, soy sause and at the end the habanero pepper kicks in!
Mouth: Full body with a creamy, soft taste. A great full complex taste with a dry, sour ending that suddenly changes into a warming, no, almoust burning sense in the back of your mouth of the habanero pepper.
The 10.5 % ABV is well hidden. You can´t really tell when you have the habanero tickling in your mouth...

This is so good!

I´m glad I bought more bottles that goes directly to my beercellar :)

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Photo of simont1
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

3/7/2013 bottle. Black, brown gray head. roasty, bitter chocolate, semi sweet, some cinnamon and licorice. Spicy/hot after taste which I personally do not approve of. First sips are great, but the spice takes over and masks flavor for me after a while, for me a huge minus.

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Photo of beer2day
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I know this says do not age ... but I did.

Aged in the beer fridge for a year.

Oily, thick pour with 1 finger of dark cream head. Decent lace on a tulip and a thin sheen of retention.

Nose is just wonderful. Chocolate, a bit of dark fruit, coffee/toffee touch, and then light pepper. Even after a year.

The pepper mutes out after a year, but that is not a bad thing. Becomes more complimentary. Lots of chocolate/toffee up front with a dose of dark coffee. Then the pepper kicks in, ever so respectful of the remaining tastes. This is really well done.

Feel is just about right. Not nearly as thick as expected.

Overall, a homerun.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour is motor oil with tight mocha head. Nose is light chocolate fudge and vanilla, roasted malt, and faint soy sauce and spice. Taste has a ton of spice to it, a bit richer in a good way. Some fudge notes, light vanilla. Some roasted malts mid palate with the spice taking over in the back and lingering on a long finish. Full body, thins in back, smooth and creamy feel. The beer is decent but it's super spicy so it's hard to really drink, not sure how much I can handle.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle 10,5% Abv.
Served chilled in a snifter.
Bottled: 07/03/2013

Appearance: The beer appears pitch black in the glass, with a back light showing fairly thick strips of deep red along the edge of the glass. A rough pour results in a large dark tan coloured head that lasts pretty well, but doesn’t leave anything in the way of lacing. Swirling the beer leaves light yellow tinted alcohol legs clinging to the glass.

Smell: While this still smells fantastic, there is certainly a big chunk missing when compared to the barrel aged (JD) version. The nose is a lot less sweet than I was expecting with a large roasted malt character as well as a fair amount of bitter cocoa dominating the first few sniffs. After a few minutes a solid habanero character emerges alongside brown sugar, toasty notes, a touch of cinnamon, chocolate and more roast.

Taste: The flavor is quite bitter with a lot of roasted malt, dark chocolate and cocoa present alongside a fantastic habanero flavor and a nice warming in the finish. Other notes include: An underlying sweetness, a little dark fruitiness, an odd yeasty note and the faintest hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: The body doesn’t seem to have the heft that the BA version did (medium bodied with a touch of stickiness) and is a little over carbonated (medium-high level).

Overall: Mexican Cake is a solid spiced stout, but just a million miles away from the perfection that is the JD BA version. I think Westbrook shouldn’t bottle the regular version and simply stick it all in JD barrels!

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Photo of bum732
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

S: Cocoa up front, some fire-roasted chili aroma, soft vanilla, touch of coffee

L: Thick, black, little to no head, dark tan

T: Cacao up front with some cinnamon sweetness. Little bitterness, medium high heat from the peppers arrives quickly. Some maltiness makes an appearance with some vanilla.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation. Alcohol hidden.

Excellent, all the components meld nicely. Quite spicy up front.

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Photo of AltBock
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber bottle with a cool western themed label. On it are two revolvers, two skulls, a piece of cake, and chilies. They really want you know what they put in this beer because they mentioned it twice. Once on the front under the brewery's name and on the side. Also on the side is a bottled on date. My bottle was bottled on 5/15/13 and drank on 10/4/2013. A little late for my notes. The label is something you need to see for yourself to appreciate.

When poured into a 7venth Sun Snifter, this cake was a super rich Death by Chocolate black with a nice mocha colored icing on top. My chocolate loving eyes couldn't stop staring at the thick viscous black liquid in my glass. This mocha colored foam was about 1/4 of inch in height. This decent sized head of foam had solid retention that left behind a large string of foamy rings and more than a few sticky spots and tiny streaks of lace.

The aroma on this beer was certainly unique. I'll certainly give Westbrook that. The initial whiff of this beer was that of cooked vegetables. Why and how that got in there, I have no idea. Once that receded, the aroma kicked into full gear. The first portion of the 2nd part of the aroma was all about the roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and chocolate covered dark chocolate brownies. The final portion of the aroma was the spices. There I found the vanilla, cinnamon stick, and habanero pepper. There was plenty of pepper in the beginning, but once the beer warmed up, it was the vanilla that reigned supreme over the spices portion of the aroma. My nose had no complaints except for the cooked vegetables, but that was minor and beer made up for that.

Fortunately the beer didn't have a cooked vegetable taste in the beer. That was isolated only to the aroma. This beer drank like a roasted slice of Death by Chocolate cake with a pepper on top instead of a cherry. The taste kicked off with the roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, a speck of black cherry, and dark chocolate. Not bitter dark chocolate like almost every other Imperial Stout. This was thick and creamy dark chocolate. It was almost fudge like dark chocolate. Once the chocolate passes, it's the spices time to shine. I found cinnamon, vanilla, and pepper. It tasted like the cinnamon and pepper combined forces. I only got a pinch of vanilla before the combined team of cinnamon and pepper washed in. The pepper finish was a nice touch to all the dark chocolate in the beginning.

This Imperial Stout was dry, thick, chewy, roasted, and spicy. The aftertaste was chocolatey with more roasted malt, a dash of roasted coffee, a tiny speck of vanilla, and plenty of spicy peppers. Like a good chocolate cake, the chocolate flavor stuck to the roof of my mouth. The pepper decided to stick around as well. That hung around in the back of my throat where it doesn't belong. It wasn't until half way through when the 10%+ ABV started to kick in.

This beer backs up the cool name and the kick ass label. This beer stayed true to the cake part of the name. It was just as thick and chocolatey as a well made slice of chocolate cake. The pepper at the finish line was a very nice touch. Would I drink it again? I sure would! I would also very much like to try a barrel aged version of this. Thanks to mnbuffalo for hooking me up with this treat.

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Photo of SHerninko
3.72/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Snifter full from a bottle -about 6 months from bottle date.

A bit thin not creamy. Smell is nice. Color is dark like any stout. No real lacing or head. Slight chocolate taste but not a dark, dry chocolate. More like a slight cake frosting which hence the name makes sense. Just about no carbonation. A slight smokey flavor early on the front of the tongue. All mix well and though not much vanilla to balance but to me the back of the tongue hot & spicy chilli is too much. It overpowered the other flavors.
Overall you should try it, but I won't seek it out again.

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Photo of ScaryHairy44
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
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..

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Photo of roger617
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into snifter glass.

A: Pours a rich black with 1 finger of khaki colored head that reduces quickly and leaves no lacing.
S: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Then peppers.
T: Strong chocolate up front with hints of vanilla and spices. The pepper is very strong on the back end, yet remains pleasant. Very complex and balanced.
M: Not as thick as I anticipated, but still fitting for the style.
O: What an incredible beer! The flavor takes on a new shape as it warms up. I kept expecting the pepper to over power but it never did. Worth seeking out for sure!

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Photo of common_dissent
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of dowen17
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a huge milk chocolate colored head. Big creamy head. Great retention. Good lacing as well.

On the nose is big chocolate. Some coffee and bitter notes. I pick up a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon. There's also a slight hint of pepper in the background.

Taste is milk chocolate. Sweet malts and some vanilla. A bit of cinnamon settles on the tongue towards the middle. The heat from the peppers rests on your tongue after you swallow. Very smooth. It's not as big and in your face as I'd expected. Definitely doesn't live up to the nose. It just seems a bit faint to me. As the beer warms the peppers really take over and it becomes less enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a bit chewy but nowhere near as big as I expected. Not necessarily let down, but I did expect more. Just a bit thin. A little bit of heat from the peppers but not too much. Very sticky though. Coats your lips. Heat takes over more and more as the beer warms.

This is a great beer. Doesn't necessarily love up to the hype but it is very good. If you have a chance then pick it up. There are definitely things I can pick out that I'm not extremely fond of but it disappeared from my glass pretty quickly. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

Black throughout and full in body. Thick brown head. Dots and irregular webs of stick left down the glass.

Aroma of chocolate and roast, a bit of an earthy and sweet vanilla character, and just a bit of a chile character.

The flavor is similar to the aroma--chocolate, roast, with definite habanero lingering, especially after the swallow. I don't pick up as much vanilla in the flavor as I do in the aroma.

Full-medium bodied with lower moderate carbonation. Very appropriate.

Quite tasty, and even though I enjoy spice and chiles, I wish the habanero was dialed down just a slight bit. Regardless, I'm very much enjoying my glass of this, but the pepper should be complementary instead of dominant.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick and viscous in the pour the color was jet black and gave off a thin yet bubbly brown head.

The scent isn't overly complex but very sound in a dry chocolate and Graham cracker aroma.

Not necessarily a blend you expect it's creamy chocolate with a spicy kick. The spice is not overwhelming or deterring but acts as a compliment to strong creamy chocolate tones. I don't taste the actual peppers but I can find hints of cinnamon spiciness. The feel is not hot or burning but is present. This is amongst the best versions of a habenero brewed beer.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from the 2013 anniversary, into an unlabeled snifter 8/31/2013. Shared with Amber, Doug and Shaun. Thanks to Daniel S for hooking me up with a bottle of this beer.

Pours as a dark, viscous blackness. The head's probably a 2cm mocha coloured with decent retention and becomes a fairly thin film on the surface of the beer. Lacing is minimal but thick wherever it is. Swirling this beer in the glass stains it rather brown. Very reminiscent of chocolate.

Smells like sweet dark chocolate fudge. No hint of spiciness. This is mostly dominated by chocolates and cocoa here, like a chocolate coffee cake. Doesn't give much hints to what we are going to taste.

Flavour is very nice. It's full of chocolate, lactose sweetness and cocoa bitterness... hint of vanilla. But the real big kicker is the spice kick that seems puny on the first few sips, but quickly builds into a massive kick in the palate after a few minutes. It's broilingly hot awesomeness that really complements the earlier sweetness. Very interesting spicy chocolate cake flavour profile!

Full body, but a little bit on the thinner side compared to Hunahpu and Abraxas. Somehow this makes it more smooth and drinkable. Very rich and spicy aftertaste that lingers a while. This is probably the best-executed pepper spiciness I've had in a beer.

Its a bit thinner but does the pepper spiciness very well. I didn't get much cinnamon or vanilla here, unfortunately. I would have to put it like this: Abraxas is heavy on the cinnamon, Hunahpu is a very thick chocolate fudge beer, and Mexican Cake is spicy chocolate cake. They're all awesome and Mexican Cake holds up well to the other Mexican-style stouts.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a thick, 2 finger chocolate colored head with excellent retention. Beer is opaque black. Lacing is thick but minimal with moderately thin legs and decent cling. Pretty.

Nose is chocolate, vanilla, fudge, cocoa, molasses and just the slightest touch of spice in the back. Real deep and aromatic. Delicious!

Opens sweet. Chocolate, vanilla and fudge. Cocoa powder and a big dose of spice kick towards the middle. End is more cocoa powder, lactose, chocolate, and fudge. This one actually reminds me of chocolate cake at the finish. Aftertaste is sweet and spicy. Pretty awesome!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and rich in the mouth and goes down spicy and silky with an accented finish and a lingering, hot, sticky aftertaste. This is spot on.

This is easily the best spicy stout I've ever come across. The body is astounding and really just makes the rest of the experience. Flavors exhibit nice complexity and the nose and look are deep and inviting but the body is what holds everything together here. An excellent beer!

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.