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Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Mexican CakeMexican Cake

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

1,744 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,744
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 1,250
Gots: 303 | FT: 26
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,744 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tywhite
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of henshawb
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was very pleased to recently acquire two bottles of Mexican Cake from two great trading BAs, cvm4 (2013 vintage) and fordknox (2014 vintage). As a lover of "Mayan" imperial stouts, I've been eager to compare to one of my favorites for a long time. This review (and scores) will cover the 2014 vintage, but I may speak a bit to some of the most obvious differences between it and the 2013. Poured into an oversized brandy snifter.

Appearance (4.0) - I begin my pour moderately, but then begin to pour a bit more aggressively when I see that there isn't much head being coaxed out, ending up with about a finger of brown sugar colored head that lingers for a short period of time before dissipating to a ringlet around the edge of the glass and a smattering of foam pinpricks across the surface of the liquid. Lacing is essentially nonexistent. The body is a dark almost-black brown color that allows zero light to penetrate, and the liquid isn't terribly viscous, but has a slightly oily look to it.

Smell (4.25) - Here is where I first notice a difference between the 2013 and 2014 batches. While the 2013 was all bittersweet chocolate and barely a touch of the spice aroma that I love so much about this sub-style, the 2014 was a better balance of baker's chocolate and cinnamon, with a tiny bit of that dried pepper heat coming through as well. Maybe a touch of vanilla peeks through, but it's fleeting, almost not there at all.

Taste (4.25) - As with the aroma, the taste bears a pretty stark contrast between the 2013 and 2014, with the cinnamon and chocolate playing quite well together in the fresher version, with notes of semi-dark chocolate, fresh cinnamon stick, cocoa powder, roasted malt bitterness and a faint kiss of vanilla on the aftertaste. The year-old version is really lacking in the spice department, although both seem to bring the spice and heat out a bit more as the liquid begins to warm up to room temperature. The second glass I pour from my bomber is worlds different than the first.

Mouthfeel (4.0) - Medium-bodied and slightly chewy, but could use a bit more body. Reminds me more of Xocoveza than it does Abraxas in terms of body. Carbonation is moderate-to-low and the finish is bittersweet, with a bit of pepper warmth on the tastebuds.

Overall (4.25), a very good take on the sub-style, but not one that I'm likely to expend a great deal of effort to have again because it just doesn't quite get that spice overload that I personally enjoy. Chocolate and cinnamon are a great flavor marriage, because the chocolate sweetness tends to transform the cinnamon from being a dry, mildly interesting flavor to a rich, spice melange, sort of the way salt can amp up the flavors in so many foods.

Photo of cheesy26
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sconi_tom
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of HoistinBrews
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JavaNoire
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of pyite
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Grant214905
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Boomer_Briggs
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aleigator
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Kevin and Matt for providing the bottle. '13 vintage.

Pours a completely black color, with a decent beige, stable head.

The aromas are all about cinnamon, earthy bakers chocolate and hints of slightly wooden vanilla, with roasted malts. Not particular sweet on the nose, but very intriguing, due to its wonderful complexity.

Has a distinct, coffee infused malt foundation, joined by a load of slightly earthen cinnamon. Bakers chocolate adds to the humble wooden malts, getting topped of by toffee and syrup. The brew then turns into a sweeter, slightly sticky direction, due to molasses and a metallic, hot alcohol peak, intruduced by the lively carbonation. The brew is, despite its entwined, sublime cinnamon-chocolate sweetness, heavily hopped, creating a decent antithesis, forming its full body. It is pleasantly balanced, providing a smooth drinking, outstanding complexity.

It finishes with burning hot, peppery chilies, acting as the perfect addition to the rich chocolate taste, challenging the tastebuds, as this beer is evolving in taste from the beginning till its very end.

Photo of c-rum
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of struttinj
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of visualmartyr
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chart813
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PEIhop
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mangbus
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CraigTravor
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jon4than
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Danielr26
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.