Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Mexican CakeMexican Cake

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,000 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 2,000
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 1,376
Gots: 419 | FT: 44
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: 2,000 | Reviews: 235
Photo of aleigator
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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 rubetube56
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, I cannot rate it high enough.

I love how the pepper just hits the back of your palate as the smooth chocolate taste covers the top of your tongue. I think this is the perfect beer, its just a shame that it is so difficult to get if you are not in distribution range.

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

#600! Love this brew as I picked it for 600! What a fantastic beer! Nice chocolate notes with a bit of heat...not much, just enough! Outstanding brew that is more then worthy of hunting down! Congrats Westbrook on this fantastic beer!

Photo of Fern54
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'f the scale would have 10, I would gone to 11. Lol. It was a full chocolate head. Enough spices with a good amount of habanero chile. Cheers

Photo of JGam115
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014. Opal, coffee foam but not super oily. Tons of dough and bittersweet choc, cinnamon. Litely chewy and bittersweet. Yum

Photo of Mbo108
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wanted to rate this higher, i really did, but I have to be honest. I think it was the combo of cinnamon and habaneros, or maybe i had it at this weird in-between stage (bottled 5/14, drank basically 1/15) but i didnt love it like I thought I would. The beer is gorgeous looking, even the smell was great, picked up a good bit of cocoa, but the taste....was sort of a mess. Ive been drinking a bunch of FBS, Backwoods, and BCBS lately, and this just didnt live up.

Photo of Kendo
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black. Thick, viscous black. Small tan head on top.

S: Cocoa, peanut butter, molasses and sweet malt.

T: Roasty malt up front - cocoa, coffee and roasted barley malt - with some vanilla. Finishes with a hint of cinnamon and the faintest touch of heat - presumably from the habanero peppers - fighting the vanilla and cocoa sweetness for dominance. Nicely balanced dessert beer.

M: Full-bodied, thick beer. Carbonation is modest, creating a slightly slick feel.

O: Very good beer.

Photo of ronricorossi
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first tasted the DB version of Mexican Cake two months ago, it immediately took the crown as My Favorite Beer, a title it still holds. Now, months later, finally getting hold of a bottle of the regular version, sure, I was expecting there to be some separation between the two, but not THAT much. I've found a wider split than I had imagined.

Obviously I love this beer, as my score would indicate. But it wasn't even close to the Double Barrel. Two things may have hurt it:

1) it was bottled in May, and this is a beer (as the label states) to be consumed fresh. The spice notes just didn't pop like they had in the DB.

2) I had some fresh Abraxas and Vanilla Abraxas on tap just 24 hours beforehand. Abraxas and Mexican Cake are, essentially, the same beer, and the cinnamon and chocolate were clear and vibrant in the Abraxas, with real heat from the peppers, all of which outshone the Mexican Cake a day later.

This is an amazing beer, no doubt, but, for me, at least as of this round of bottles, Abraxas blew past it. Maybe the next round will make me flip my scores, we'll see.

Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours rather thin, but dark black with a sliver of caramel foam.

Spice, spice, peppers, and more spice, some chocolate, and more pepper.

Sweet chocolate and cinnamon upfront with an immediate greeting from the habanero. The habanero sticks the length of the swallow and hangs around a bit after. Not to keen on the spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky on the front end and finishes spicy and dry.

Overall, I can see why people enjoy this; however, pepper in beer is just not for me.

Photo of Mineo
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Awesome. Chocolatey goodness with a blast of cinnamon and some spiciness at the end.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle.

I've got to admire a beer that looks like this. Frothy, thick and creamy head a couple fingers thick that sits majestically like a ring of clouds over a mountain. The dark khaki color provides a perfect contrast to the pitch black liquid that when poured into the glass flowed thick as oil. Magnificent. 5

Cocoa dominates the nose initially, but a faint medley of cinnamon, vanilla and chile provide an intriguing backdrop. Dark roast malts round out the aroma and provide a deeper flavor. It's pleasant but also seems to either faded or restrained. 4

A few sips tell me the palate on this is much less restrained. First off, the chile flavor figures much more prominently here, offering a piquant bite. Chocolate and vanilla interplay around the chile suggesting a spicy Mexican hot chocolate. Baker's chocolate lingers on the finish and gives me a good reason to space out my sips and enjoy this. As I do, the beer warms up and becomes even more great. Caramel pushes to the forefront and adds to the mix of flavors that make this live up to its name. 4.5

The beer is still a tad hot, but otherwise it's as creamy and rich as any beer you can find. The taste and feel are very similar to so many of the big stouts from Evil Twin and it's clear the influence/collaboration works it's way into beers that they brew individually. There's a obvious bite to this, obviously from the chile but also from the hops. The hops also give a bit of bitterness at the finish. 4.25

2 summers back I visited Torst and this beer blew my mind on tap. I've been dreaming of it ever since. It doesn't disappoint. Delicious.

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
2.75/5  rDev -37.4%

It tastes like they added chalk to a mediocre stout.

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

A - black, no clarity, 2 fingers of brown head

A - cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg
T - sweet up front, cinnamon and spices,
M - full bodied, well carbonated
O - Amazing spicy stout. Cinnamon and nutmeg, cocoa. Well played Westbrook, well played

Photo of SteveB24
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours a mud brown color, with a finger of brown, creamy foam that retains well, stream of bubbles visible in the beer. Aroma is rich, consisting of coffee, mild chocolate and the peppers are there. The flavor consists of coffee, hints of dark chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla smooth the bitterness from the chocolate and coffee and then the chili hits you like a ton of bricks. The 10.5 ABV is completely undetectable.
While the chili was a bit much for my taste the beer is complex and very, very tasty. a very unique and very positive beer experience.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks a million, Shannon!

A: The blackest of blacks. Not much head. Limited lacing. Like oil in a glass. Viscous.

S: Cocoa and vanilla come on strong. Very slight habanero.

T: A beast of a beer. Dark chocolate, cocoa nibs and vanilla start out, with a habenero heat on the finish that doesn't overwhelm. This one's a sipper. Gets better and better as it warms.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

O: A great one to share with friends. Sip slowly and be overwhelmed. One of the top 5 beers I've had this year. Magnificent.

Photo of JdoubleA
4/5  rDev -8.9%

If the cinnamon was a bit less, I would go to 4.5

Photo of barhoc11
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

I was surprised how good this was for the style. Big upfront cinnamon flavor that mellows into a smooth vanilla taste with a decent amount of pepper burn at the end. Impressed!

Photo of jfleeper
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Delicious, complex balanced brew.
A real serendipitous drink.

Photo of TWStandley
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured into a snifter.

Appeared a dark brown color with minimal head.

Smelled amazing - cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and slight alcohol on the nose.

Taste was awesome as well. Love the cinnamon presence - tastes a bit like Huna.

Mouthfeel was a bit light but the peppers elevated it with some heat on the back of the throat.

Overall a delicious treat and one I hope to have again.

Photo of Beer4B
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very fun stout to try. I knew it was aged on peppers but underestimated the "heat" that was present. Good, drinkable mouthfeel with a nice blend of cocoa, vanilla and peppers. The peppers started present and then flexed their muscles as it warmed. I recommend sharing the bottle (as I did) or having some Pepto available.

Photo of Dope
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%

Bottling date is all smudged but I believe this says May 2014.

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall and dense dark brown head. Great legs and top-notch head retention. Substantial and thick lacing. Great appearance.

S: Immediate heavy roasted malt. Sort of a chalky, roasty, earthy aroma with lots of chocolate. I think the cinnamon and/or habaneros contribute as well. Sort of a sweet pepper aroma too. Hard to describe properly. It smells heavy though.

T: Now we're talking. Immediate chili peppers and heat mixed with lots of bittersweet chocolate up front. A little vanilla, primarily right at the beginning. Again, quite chalky and grainy. I think it's from the cinnamon sticks. Lots of cinnamon and chili pepper throughout. A brief hit of pepper heat in the finish to go with some chocolate fudge and vanilla that lingers forever. That chalky, spicy and almost waxy at times, mouthfeel never really seems to fade. Like a dash of cinnamon left over in your mouth.

M: Heavy, thick, lower carbonation. Just the right amount of sweetness. Fairly chalky and practically grainy at points (an illusion, I realize).

O: One hell of a beer. It's pretty much as it's described. A proper stoneground mexican chocolate tends to be grainy, bittersweet and oftentimes has some sort of cinnamon and/or chili pepper spice. This is liquid mexican chocolate. Great flavors and balance, great complexity, great strength. Just works nicely. Barrel aging this would probably put it over the top but this is great as-is.

Photo of ianw87
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Worth the hype. Spicy, Chocolate, thick, delicious beer.

Photo of MikeWard
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Had on tap at the Liberty Taphouse in Columbia, SC on Friday. Small snifter arrived at the table, black body, light tan head. For some reason, this beer was not on my wish list for the weekend, but Oh my am I glad I found it.

From the first mouthful I was hooked, a delicious sweet chocolately wash comes over the tongue, and by the time I let it get to the back of the mouth, there was the slight burn from the pepper and roasted malts. Some vanilla and dried fruit tones on the tongue. Over the 30-40 minutes I took getting through this one, the heat gradually grew in the back of the mouth, while the to tongue kept the sweet tones of milk & chocolate. Damn fine beer indeed.

Photo of sommersb
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Tasted On: 08-20-2014
Freshness: Bottled on 05-22-2014
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Liquor Express, Huntsville AL

A: Black and opaque beer showing a tall dark tan head. The lacing and retention are both good.

S: Fantastic smells of chocolate, sweet malts, coffee and a hint of spicy peppers.

T: Wow, the taste is an incredible mix of chocolate and habanero peppers, plus roasted malts typical to a stout. The pepper is just right and does not overpower. I also get warmth from both the alcohol and the peppers.

M: Low in carbonation, with a full body. The finish is bittersweet with a good dose of hot peppers.

O: An excellent mixture of the sweet and hot elements; highly recommended!

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Very tasty beer, and while the heat from the chili peppers is noticeable, the dark chocolate, cinnamon, light vanilla and coffee are more than enough to handle it. A very delicious beer, and one I was very happy to have the opportunity to try.

Still tasted very fresh after being in the growler for several weeks.

Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 2,000 ratings.