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Mexican Cake | Westbrook Brewing Co.

292 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 2,494
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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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 von_kaiser
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black/extremely dark brown, non-viscous pour w/ one finger tan head. Cinnamon, chocolate, spicy scent. Taste is the same but it's sweet heat. Full mouthfeel for the style with a mild burn that lingers. Glad to have tried...would have again. Seek.

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Photo of stevoj
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampled at Boise’s Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. Very chocolaty and thick, slightly sweet with a hint of burn.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Keg in Port Street bar Manchester
Big cocoa aroma with hints of vanilla and winter spice
Flavour goes from there with a little Irishing and some lovely warming chilli heat that isn't overbearing
Nicely and lowly carbonated and solid without being heavy going
Wow just wow

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Photo of spacecake9
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Acquired this in a trade.
Poured into a snifter.
A - Pours a black brown color with a small tan head that settles to a thin cap with no lacing.
S - The aroma is complex and wonderful. Lots of chocolate, molasses, cinnamon and booze.
T - Flavor is all of the above plus vanilla and the heat of the peppers on finish.
M - Medium thick mouth feel with low carbonation.
O - Wow, there is so much flavor coming at you with this beer. Great taste and the heat is just right.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nose reveals tons of cocoa and vanilla, with just a little bit of cinnamon. The first sips release lots of cocoa first, very smooth like milk chocolate, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon coming through shortly after in a fantastic harmony. The habanero heat comes in right on the finish, and I must say is the best use of peppers I've had in any beer to date. Nice habanero flavor and just the right kick of heat on your mouth and throat. Such a fantastic beer, really glad I got to try this whale on draft.

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Photo of Ski3PO
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the 2015 that was a few months old. Deep black color with not a whole lot of carbonation. On the nose, the chocolate is the only thing keeping the habanero and even cinnamon on a leash. Tasting hits in spice, chocolate, spice and finally chocolate again... yes, with lingering heat and some dryness from what seems to be the cinnamon. It has a thick, viscous mouthfeel. I will say that I've also had a tapped version of 2014 almost one year later, and indeed, a number of dimensions faded, but I thought the chocolate emerged fully dominant; it thickened and was like chocolate milk that was really heavy on the chocolate syrup.
Overall, out of the bottle, it's very bold on the chocolate, habanero and cinnamon. Vanilla helps the chocolate hold it together. Leans heavier on the habanero and cinnamon, though.

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

Rating 2012 version. Aged for 3 years and 9 months. Smells like chocolate cake! Cocoa and Cola flavors dominate. Very subtle notes of cinnamon and pepper. Decent mouthfeel/thickness. Good. Will have to try fresher version for comparison.

Update: Had 2015 version with 6 months if aging. Definitely better fresh. Had more pepper spiciness and cinnamon flavor to it. Seemed a bit thinner and had less chocolate notes. Preferred this fresher bottle however.

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Photo of ThomasJ25
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Just had this last night. It was brewed in May of 2015. Poured into a Teku glass and shared with my Dad. Took the bottle out of the fridge about 25 minutes before I opened it. Poured dark, but not a ton of head. Also, the viscosity was thinner than I had expected.

Took a taste and immediately hit with chocolate. Subtle hints of vanilla and cinnamon, but definitely takes a back seat to chocolate which starts out at the beginning,and then the habanero peppers finish it with some serious heat and bitterness.

Overall, a great beer. Just wish it was easier to obtain as I would drink this more often.

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Photo of boothbeer
3.67/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to vicjr85 for sharing this with me. Coincidentally this was my 100th review. I am a big fan of the "mexican style" stout, and this was a beer I have been wanting to try for a long time. Unfortunately, it didn't compare to other stouts in the same category (Huna, Abraxas, etc.). This beer pours a thick black stout with nice head. Smells of chocolate, pepper, roasted malts. I get no cinnamon and no vanilla.
The biggest problem with this beer is the taste. I can tell that it has good base stout, but the habanero is unbelievable. It totally overtakes every other flavor. I can't taste anything other than chocolate and pepper. It actually started to make my stomach hurt. The pepper is too much. A little pepper goes a looooong way, espcially with habaneros. I wanted to love this beer, but I was greatly disappointed.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to review this one for a while after getting a taste at a bottle share. The beer is a beautiful pour into my snifter, with a thick and viscous appearance and a creamy, dark head forming as the beer swirls. The head is about 1.5 fingers in thickness and a really dark, chocolate color. It hangs around a while before it reduces to just a ring of dense foam on the edges, which end up leaving a pretty good amount of lacing. Time to take a sniff of this dark nectar. Huge chocolate that is well balanced between sweet and lightly bitter hits the nose first and is quickly chased by the habaneros. The peppers give the scent a good dose of the anticipated heat and spice, and are followed up by the cinnamon. The combination of the peppers and cinnamon give the beer a big, spicy presence that mixes all together with the sweeter notes of chocolate and vanilla and give the overall smell a delicious impression.

Taking a drink of this enticing smelling liquid, the first flavor that hits you is once again the chocolate. This time, the chocolate is a little bit sweeter than it was in the scent, and is accompanied by a touch of light vanilla sweetness as well before the habaneros make their presence known. The peppers hit in a spicy bang and then fade away for a bit, giving way to the cinnamon and rounding out the spiciness. The peppers make a strong and triumphant return at the very end of the drink with a big, spicy, and hot burn on the back of the tongue and down the throat. The lingering flavor is definitely the peppery heat, but also a touch of the cinnamon and chocolate. All during the drink, this beer is thick and smooth on the tongue, with a creaminess and little to no alcohol burn. Aside from the moderate pepper heat, this beer is insanely drinkable for the alcohol content.

Overall, this beer is probably my favorite among the Mexican chocolate stouts I have had. I really enjoy that peppers are strong, yet not distracting to the other flavors in the beer. The burn that the peppers add really add a unique and delicious quality that is unique to the beer. Basically, this beer confirms that I like my beer as spicy as I like my food.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to tulip.

A. Black, nice fine bubble amber head. Sort of thick.

S. Dominated by coffee and dark malt. Some chili pepper.

T. Very balanced and compkex. Notes of coffee, chili peppers, coffee with half and half, vanilla and toffee. A little bitterness.

M. Uber smooth, full body, moderate carbonation and thickness.

O. Very balanced and well crafted. Worth the hype. This is not extremely fresh so I feel the chili may have fallen off from a fresh pour. Ver very nice.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Westbrook oversize snifter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a jet black, opaque inky body with a deep brown 2 finger head that reduces slowly to leave a ring of brown retention, very little lacing but the color of the head and body are magnificent and deep in color.

Allowed it to warm up for ~30 minutes, as this is when the aromas started coming through. Big milk chocolate and vanilla, some cinnamon and a hint of peppers in the background, nice roastyness on the nose as well.

On the tongue is rich milk chocolate (chocolate cake almost!), coffee-like roasty notes, vanilla and caramel, followed by a toasted malt, charred character that lingers on the tongue for a while. The aftertaste has a little peppery bite to it, but it's subtle and adds a nice dimension. The mouthfeel is awesome, heavy, rich body with low carbonation, just how an imperial stout should feel.

Overall I'm very impressed, and I almost feel as this is underrated. I know it's hyped, but the hype is worth it and in my opinion it tops the other popular mexican style stouts (huna, abraxas)

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours pitch black. Literally looks like oil coming out of the bottle. The habenaro gives it a kick after each sip, but to be honest I think the beer might have been better off without it. The cinnamon and vanilla flavor is delicious. This really does taste like cake albeit a cake with some peppers mixed in

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Photo of uvachief
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a high ball glass. Pitch cocoa brown near black. Nice 2 fingers of fluffy tan head. Smells of cocoa, vanilla, roasted malts, cinnamon and peppers. Taste is a rush of flavors of above with a hint of habernero peppers on the back end. As you drink a glass it gets more prominent. Very good. Not bitter. Complex but not as thick as I would like. For my money, Heir Apparent is nearly as good.

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Photo of eifster82
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Poured into a snifter, it is pitch black. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell - Robust, with cinnamon and cocoa beans dominating.

Taste - Cinnamon and vanilla dominate. Not your usual IS.

Feel - Initially smooth, but chillies start kicking in toward back end... especially as the beer warms.

Overall - a different kind of stout. Great change of pace and very complex with it's many ingredients. Would love to have this from time to time.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a thick black color with dark brown head. Smells of dark chocolate, peppers, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla sweetness. Taste follows suit with a roast character. Taste is a bit more muted than I would have hoped, but still awesome. Nowhere near huna, buy probably better than xocoveza and maybe bomb!

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Photo of JFresh21
3.47/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has everything going for it, but the finish of the habanero peppers is too much. I love spicy food but this beer leaves an unpleasant sting in your mouth that washes away all the brilliant flavor. I traded for this and didn't even finish the bottle.

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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 CNoj012
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely thrilled to finally be able to slay this personal whale of mine. Poured from a growler into a Sam Adams perfect pint. This beer is as black as night with no light getting through at all, perfectly fitting for the style. Head is brown, but quite small. Smell is amazing. Chocolate, roasted malt and habanero 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. Not boozy at all and overall this beer lives up to/exceeds the hype. Absolutely will seek this out again although it seems I got very lucky to score it in the first place.

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Photo of sittinggc
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer is really tasty! Big chocolate and cinnamon notes. Was a little scared it would be too spicy (as in Crime/Punishment levels) because of reviews I have read but it is not. Chill out guys lol. The spicy notes only add to the complexity and makes the beer that much better. Really adds to the cinnamon flavor. Seek this beer out if you have not tried it.

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.