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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

266 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 266
Hads: 2,341
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 26.09%
Wants: 1,523
Gots: 515 | FT: 54
Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States | website

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: 266 | Hads: 2,341
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of danh53
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.72/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Adamanton
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of W_Des
4.98/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of aleckpa
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of witschen
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of KillJoy
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of PirateLes
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of Sparkk
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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

Look - Poured into a snifter. Pours black with a slight brown head.
Smell - Great smell of chocolate and peppers.
Taste - Chocolate, roasted malt, mild cinnamon, and peppers up front with an amazing spicy aftertaste and slight burn down the throat. It only gets better as it warms.
Feel - Smooth up front, full body, low carbonation, and great afterburn!
Overall - I love this beer. It's probably my favorite imperial stout. The complex flavors only get better as it warms. No boozy flavor at all.

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Photo of hughesjbailey
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Jimboice
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

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Photo of tjcapture
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of nyyfanatic213
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
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

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Photo of mabermud
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.