Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Educational use only; do not reuse.

257 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 257
Hads: 2,263
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 26.32%
Wants: 1,467
Gots: 499 | FT: 52
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: 257 | Hads: 2,263
Photo of Scarfer_Brad
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage. Poured in snifter. nice light head about 3/8" with staying power. Jet black. smell of peppers and chocolate coffee and a hint of cinnamon. can taste the cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon followed by a slight heat from the peppers that never goes to a burn. a nice silky smooth cool feel as hits your lips then tongue just flowing down your throat. first taste of the base Cake and wow one of the best

 420 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This is big, bad and delicious. Lots of sweet malt that supports a ton of chocolate. The habanero is well integrated and delivers a great spicy finish. Maybe it is just a little too big but, hey, it's still great.

 218 characters

Photo of Feelmebone
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had it as a 2014 keg a bar held and was really glad they did . Great flavor and the spices really hit on the nice texture stout . Had two glasses and enjoyed.

 160 characters

Photo of radio2525
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Jet black with the smell of peppers. This is a good beer not great. it is thin and that is made up for with spice and just does not come together as well as some other pepper beer.

 180 characters

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. You can really smell the habanero peppers and there is a lot of heat up front. It cools off though as you sip this beer and really start to enjoy the coffee and spices. I didn't get a ton of cinnamon which I think is good but you could taste its presence. I really enjoyed this beer, would love to see what one of the barrel aged versions does to the flavor.

 371 characters

Photo of ljbonadonna92
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Dark tan head that turns into thin laceing along the top. Spicy and roasty aroma with hints of cinnamon, some fruit and a big almost sweet coffee fills your nose. As you taste it chocolate, roasted grains, and cinnamon hit your tongue and the finish is all pepper spice. The mouth feel of this beer is my favorite part. It's slightly dense, smooth, and leaves a spicy tingle across your tongue and throat. Overall, really enjoyed the spice quality in this beer along with its rich flavor profile. You can really taste every ingredient and they all stand on there own in the best way.

 595 characters

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

Best imperial stout I have ever had. Taste like chocolate coconut cake with an amazing habanero pepper after taste. Mine was served at room temp for best taste. So lucky to have one to try.

 190 characters

Photo of KSOZE
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a delicious spiced stout with an emphasis on SPICE. Peppers sneak up on you. The other additions hit first - a nice vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon treat before the spice really grabs a hold of your throat. Pleasant if you can handle medium/hot spice.

 259 characters

Photo of JamesStreet
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Jet black pour with a khaki finger-sized head that vanishes quickly.
S- I get bitter chocolate, big roasty flavors. Some booze.
T- chocolate, roast, you definitely get the cinnamon flavors and the spiciness from the peppers really finish off the sip nicely.
M- heavy-medium feel. Like drinking boozy chocolate cake batter. Moderately carb'ed. Booze hidden well in sip. Actually get more heat from the peppers.
O- glad I got to try this one. Gets lots of hype and deservedly so but I wouldn't quite say world-class. Still, very delicious!

 546 characters

Photo of TheDonster
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Good stuff. Tried it on draft at our local craft brew house, the Thirsty Pug. Chocolatey smell. Complex flavor with a spicy finish for the first few sips. The spices become less notable after drinking a bit.

 207 characters

Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: jet black in color with a fluffy light brown head.

Smell: faint notes of coffee

Taste: dominant coffee notes, cinnamon flavor comes through in the middle and finishes with a lingering warmth from the chiles. The chocolate is somewhat muted by the coffee and I don't notice the vanilla it seems to just add an overall warmth. With all the complexity of the beer the alcohol is barely noticeable.

Feel: medium carbonation thick syrupy mouthfeel, drinks like liquid cake.

Overall a great beer and lives up to the name.

 526 characters

Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic. All of the ingredients in this beer are put together wonderfully. Everything is completely balanced. I believe they got the heat from the peppers just right. Would love to try the other renditions of this beer.

 221 characters

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

Bottle compliments of my dad who lives in SC. Pours black, no head retention. Smells of chocolate and vanilla, a little sweet. Initial taste is a solid stout, but love the heat in the aftertaste. Near perfect beer for the style.

 228 characters

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

a really amazing beer, didnt think i would find one in a store on this first round to colorado, but i got lucky up in fort collins. its crazy beer, in the abraxas style, but very very different. the fresh habanero pepper instead of an ancho type makes a huge difference, you get that fleshy pulpy fresh pepper flavor in the beer without the smoky heat in the same way. inky black beer, very dense, heady, and intimidating as a night cap. the habanero flavor is really intense, but the heat is not, just warming in the throat and not lingering. im not a huge chili beer guy, and this is very very drinkable in terms of pepper influence. the cinnamon would be the next strongest of the additives, its spicy in own right, and works amazingly well with the bittersweet dark barley, ashy almost burnt, and thats where the desserty element comes from, the coffee notes in the malt with that cinnamon, its awesome. vanilla and cocoa do more highlighting and accenting as center staging, balancing sweet and bitter elements really well, and also bringing the most out of the malts. its like a cake batter, i see that in the base beer very much, the additives take it to the next lever, crazy really how flavorful this is. its also just so smooth and silky drinking, like the frosting that might be on such a cake. i thought this might be too much pepper for my palate, but i think its right on with the other flavors in here. gets boozy and a little sweet as it warms, but this is a really special beer. make sure you have a partner in crime who you can share this one with, a whole bomber is a serious task!

 1,600 characters

Photo of taix
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Beer poured jet black, had a slight ruby/tan head that died down quickly
S: Moderate aromas of cocoa nibs and vanilla beans are present in the nose very small amounts of chili on the nose.
T: Cinnamon, and chili very present on the front end. On the backend mass amounts of cocoa and vanilla really shine through. Not a lot of spiciness but a good chili backbone.
M: It feels medium bodied.
O: Great chili stout, everything shines though out the beer. There isn't much heat but the chili really helps bring another dimension to all the other flavors of the beer.

 565 characters

Photo of Reds76
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black, cinnamon and habanero aroma. Cocoa and cinnamon flowing through the creamy, thick stout body and finishes with crackling habanero. Minimal carbonation but the tingling from the chile makes it seem a little more carbonated than it is. Beautiful all around. One of the best beers that I have had. Will continue to seek it out whenever I can!

 357 characters

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

A perfect beer here. Everything about this one. The habanero is so well done that it just makes ur mouth tingle and makes the experience that Much better.

 154 characters

Photo of matthbrew
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

6-26-15. Have been wanting to try this beer for a while. Was very tasty, one of the most complex beers I've had. Well performed combination of chocolate and habanero.

 166 characters

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

2015 24-June This is the first beer I have indulged in by this brewery and it happened completely by accident at Whole Foods located in south Charlotte, NC. Great beer! Heavy chocolate on the front with a light molasses and coconut undertone coming through the full bodied goodness. The finish is drawn out by the fresh habañero pepper just right and not overpowering.

 372 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 5/6/2015->bottle says best consumed fresh, don’t age it: Pours pitch black opaque color with a thick 2 finger brown head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded about average time for a stout leaving decent spotty lacing and rings as it went down. A layer sticks around on top.

Smells of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, light vanilla, coffee grinds, charred wood, roasted malts, oaky notes, smoke, toffee and brown sugar; the spice is evident, but it does not smell like a pepper, especially a habanero. Earthy notes mix well with the chocolate and smoked malts, adding a lot of complexities for basically a one dimensional aroma.

Taste is where all the ingredients on the label show up: the cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and cinnamon are all quite pronounced and the habanero brings immediate head that does not hurt but adds a whole new aspect and feel to the beer. The heat is like wasabi, it strikes adding some instant heat and flavor, and trails off nicely and allows the malty side show off with appearances by the cocoa powder, dark chocolate, coffee grinds, charred wood, roasted malts, oaky notes, smoke, molasses, toffee, brown sugar and some spices. Seems like piney hops are in the mix along with white pepper and fresh ground black peppercorns, along with a shot of bourbon or whiskey. The alcohol gets covered up by the habanero burn, which warms up the back of your throat and belly in the best way possible for those who like hot peppers or spicy food. The cinnamon and vanilla come on strong at the end with a mild bitterness blending with char and chocolate notes. Considering the level of heat from the habanero this drinks much smoother than it should and remains very interesting and complex with every sip.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and milkshake smooth, with very mild and almost thin carbonation, a medium chewy body that leans towards thick yet slides across the tongue, and then fades slightly bitter like a coffee with a lot of grinds in it and a full slap in the face of heat that stings and then fades slowly as it gets swapped out for dark chocolate, vanilla and spicy cinnamon. The blending and mixture of the main components really keep this dynamic and extremely interesting at the same time. This is an excellent display of brewing craftsmanship to bring such heat and booze so aggressively that results in a complex, tasty beer that flows down so smooth with such a velvety feel even though it seems like you just drank a shot or ate a jalapeño popper.

I got this hoping for a great beer but expecting a novelty beer since it’s billed as a stout with habanero in the blend; it turned out to be a great brew that was changing and evolving with every sip, allowing the pepper heat to add accents which tweaked the beer each and every sip. Shock and awe, this was a great unique beer experience which exceeded my expectations. I thought this was great and hope to have it again some day. A lot of fun and a great combo if you love stouts and love spicy food.

 3,005 characters

Photo of DarthXavius
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, not quite as thick as used motor oil consistency. Khaki/coyote Brown head with tight bubbles leaving slowly descending lacing.

S - chocolate notes take over, slight roasted coffee note hidden underneath. Slight hint of fusile barely detectable.

T - Immediate roasted, almost burnt malty coffee note. Giving Way to booziness and then moving into some coffee and chocolate. Pepper and a tiny bit of acetone/nail polish come in on the back tongue at the end and then a lingering pepper heat that is perfectly balanced all down the very back tongue and throat lingers for minutes.

M - Creamy, almost nitro creaminess. Excellently massive and almost chewable per mouthful.

O - excellent chili stout. One of the best. Picks up where prairie bombs leaves off, introduces more balance, and takes it up a notch.

 823 characters

Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +0.2%
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 +0.5%
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 +5.7%
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

Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.