Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Mexican CakeMexican Cake

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

228 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 228
Hads: 2,086
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 7.76%
Wants: 1,392
Gots: 447 | FT: 47
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
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Reviews: 228 | Hads: 2,086
Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cantebury Ales, Oyster Bay, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a thin layer of bubbles around the collar.
S: Moderate aromas of cocoa nibs and vanilla beans are present in the nose along with notes of spicy chili peppers.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of chocolate, cocoa nibs, and vanilla. It quickly transitions to spicy cinnamon followed by habanero peppers, the latter of which linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting contrast between the cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and habanero peppers. The spiciness increases a bit as it warms up, but it isn't overly hot and does a good job masking most of its alcohol. Once fully warmed up, the chocolate and vanilla become stronger.

Serving type: on-tap (920 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This years is very nice- smooth rich flavor, a touch of heat, nice chocolate and vanilla notes. This is a good one. I had it on tap so I can't vouch for the heat in the bottle- without the heat it wouldnt be anywhere near as good. (230 characters)

Photo of MissSmisje
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: black with mahogany edges and a thin mocha collar.
S: fantastic. Chocolate and cinnamon dominate, with roasted coffee and vanilla in the background
T: similar to the nose with vanilla more prominent and chili apparent. Everything is well balanced and melded. Long linger of chilies.
F: heavy with some sharpness from the chilies.
O: excellent. Not quite as chewy as I like for RIS, but so few things are. (412 characters)

Photo of BSiegs
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black pour with a gorgeous brown head. Plenty of chocolate on the nose. Full, silky mouthfeel. Exceptional flavors - plenty of chocolate and cinnamon with the habanero lingering on your tongue. The pepper is perfectly done, easily noticeable but not overwhelming. Extremely happy I got to try this. (304 characters)

Photo of danh53
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Somehow I expected this to be overrated, but it lived up to expectations. Great chocolate aroma and flavor. So smooth and well balanced. The peppers were not too hot, and the medium mouth feel held everything together quite well. I got some cinnamon and graham cracker sweetness, but I think the cinnamon had faded a little since this bottle was a year old. I look forward to trying this again when it is fresh. (411 characters)

Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Black, like oil
S: coffee, sweet chocolate, roasty malts
T: Like the nose, but finishes off with a spicy pepper lingering taste
F: smooth, but robust. A bit creamy. a decent amount of carbonation
O: A great beer, and example of pushing the beer limits. (259 characters)

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is absolutely incredible when drank fresh. I just drank one bottled 3 weeks ago, and it was insane. So much chocolate, cinnamon, and pepper. The mouthfeel is so thick and chewy and the flavor is so complex. (216 characters)

Photo of Adamanton
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The smell is unbelievably good and the look is even better. Great cinnamon and chocolate followed by the slow lingering burn of habanero. Lots of back end bitterness was the setback, however, a very interesting beer. It's a must try. (233 characters)

Photo of W_Des
4.98/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of aleckpa
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is so much going on with this beer, in a good way. What makes this imperial stout stand out from the rest is its complexity yet it is able to be so balanced. Front of the tongue you get so much chocolate. Then, the habaneros kick in. It is not too hot, though. Back of the mouth is vanilla and cinnamon to cool it down. You also get some coffee notes as well. In my opinion, this beer lives up to the hype. (412 characters)

Photo of witschen
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent. I was skeptical of the spicey stouts but am a believer in this one. Heat from the habaneros balances out the sweetness nicely. Chocolate forward with a vanilla back. Definite must try. (195 characters)

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

Beautiful looking pour. Deep black with a nice, dark roasted caramel head.

I didn't get a lot off the nose. A little vanilla but nothing that would hint at the flavors underneath the hood.

Tastes just as the name suggests, like a habanero infused chocolate cake. Wave after wave of chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts, finishing with slight habanero burn on the back of the tongue.

Very impressed with how well they've been able to balance all these flavors. No one single aspect takes the stage but rather a cohesive marriage. (533 characters)

Photo of PirateLes
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
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! (154 characters)

Photo of Sparkk
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (351 characters)

Photo of hughesjbailey
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted the 2014 and the habanero had become just a background note - not nearly as hot as some other reviewers indicate. Black/brown - opaque. Balance of cacao (but not biter), coffee and spice w/strong stout backbone. Memorable pour. (237 characters)

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

Missed the '15 release but had a '14 at the brewery while visiting. Met all expectations. Pours black with smell of cinnamon and spice. Just the right amount of spice from the habaneros, but not overwhelming. Get it if you have the opportunity! (248 characters)

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

Amazing beer. Thick and rich, the chocolate really comes through up front, then the habaneros build on the finish. Just in case, let this beer warm up a bit. Gets better and better. (181 characters)

Photo of nyyfanatic213
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm going to be straightforward. I had reservations going into drinking this beer. Thankfully they were not all met. Honestly, this is alcoholic molé. So good. Just enough spice to make it interesting, lots of chocolate and coffee notes, highly recommended (257 characters)

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

Look: Luscious dark chocolate body. Fine, dense, deep-colored mocha head. With a twirl of the glass, the head curtains and easily cascades down the side of the glass.
Smell: The smell is of Mexican hot chocolate, except this drink isn't warm in temperature. Rich, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and sweetness. Faint hints of mole spice.
Taste: See above. Mmmmmmm...The habanero pepper adds a nice little kick. No alcohol detected, maybe I drink too much...Nah.
Feel: Substantial. Silk-smooth. Creamy. Dense.

Overall - I am impressed. I thought the habanero kick would have significantly dissipated, but I was wrong. Better than Hunahpu, no. Better than Xocoveza, yes. Better than Cafe Con Lech, different. Better than Belching Beaver Horchata Milk Stout, different. Nonetheless, these are all different beers with different adjuncts. It does show how much ethnic tastes and flavors can influence beer. This is a high end stout that shows off the Mexican influence. This is definitely something I will seek out in the near future. (1,077 characters)

Photo of OGShotzy
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber per Al's Whiskey Lounge in Syracuse, NY. It SMELLS a lot like Ten Fidy, but it tastes much spicier, specifically on the back end. Retains a nice 1cm layer of head. Wow—if you're a stout guy like I am, don't pass up this one. (233 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to UncleJazz for the bottle.

Pours thick and black with a short mocha head. Big chocolate character in the nose, sweet and milky backed by plenty of other spices (cinnimon, alspice, and maybe some chili). The taste is very well balanced! Up-front is the grain bill, big sweet and roasty, lots of chocoloate and coffee, then comes the spice at just the right balance and is followed/finished with the chilis on the finish with just enough heat to let you they are there. I admit I am not usually a big chili stout lover, but this one is realy well done. (566 characters)

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

A: Muddy thick
S: Nice scent of coffee and cocoa
T: Dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla finishes with cinnamon and chile at the end
M: soft fluffy glossy
O: Wonderful balance of flavors. Amazing stout. Can't wait to drink another one of these. (243 characters)

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured form a bomber into a tulip

A. 100% opaque brownish black. Like i'd expect.

S. Roasted malt, vanilla cocoa and a int of spice.

T. Wow the flavors are layered but balanced. You get the vanilla and cocoa followed by the cinnamon and peppers. Just delicious!

M. Not trying to dog but I think BCBS ruined me. And I needed to mention that because for most this will be thick enough. I just wish it was a lil more. But thats to be perfect. This is def very good mouthfeel!

O. I love this beer. One of the best Stouts i've ever had. I will look for this again! (578 characters)

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. (2,729 characters)

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. (1,103 characters)

Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.