Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Mexican Cake - Westbrook Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Mexican CakeApple Brandy Barrel-Aged Mexican Cake

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

231 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 231
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 6.84%
Wants: 710
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co. visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Ant4711 on 07-12-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 231 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by xseanprimex:
Photo of xseanprimex
4.96/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from the bomber into a tulip. Thanks very much to Redfish2942 for this one.

A: Poured a deep black. As expected, no head but a slight lace on the glass.

S: Sweet cinnamon and brown sugar with a little chili in the background. I'm sure I smell the apple brandy but the delicious sugars are up front.

T: Dear Lord, the taste. Sweet brown sugar and chocolate with the apple brandy rounding it out brilliantly. Not boozy at all like I expected after the other variants. The chilies are faint but you know they're there, which is nice. In one word, perfect.

M: As smooth as it looks. Almost want to say oily, but in good way. Lite carbonation can be expected from a brew that has been aged like this one. Really good.

O: Just spectacular. All three variants are excellent, but very different animals. This is easily one of the top 5 beers I have ever enjoyed, and definitely the best stout. Cheers to Westbrook!

More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle pour at Dave's tasting.

Pours an opaque, bottom of the Mariana trench sort of black. 1.5 inch foamy brown head forms, leaving good little strings and globs of lacing on the glass.

Smells include vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate, oak, and cinnamon. No pepper aromas yet, but this is still probably the best smelling stout I've ever had.

The taste is mind-bogglingly good. I first get vanilla, then some roasty bitterness, then chocolate, then apple brandy then vanilla again with some oak, then cinnamon, then an absolutely delightful spicy pepper twang at the end of each sip. Every advertised flavor is on full display here, melding into the next one perfectly. Oh. my. God.

The pepper builds up in your mouth the more you drink of this, leaving a warming heat on your lips. This is medium to full bodied- the slightly thin body for such a big flavored stout is the only points knock I can honestly give this. Insanely drinkable for the ABV. Creamy, thick mouthfeel.

A game changer. This is the way to add adjuncts to stouts, and is possibly the best stout and the best beer I've ever had. Speechless, I'm so sad I most likely won't ever have it again.

Photo of jeonseh
4.48/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

S - Apple brandy presence is strong up front to the give the beer a light sweet apple cider nose. There is also loads of chocolate, vanilla, light spice and cinnamon

T - Sweet apple brandy presence to it, vanilla, and chocolate. Good amount of chocolate to it as well as loads of spice and cinnamon. I didn't think this one has as much heat from the peppers as the JD one did.

M - Sticky smooth beer but not too thick. Lots of spicyness on the back end that lingers on the finish

O - This is another great Mexican cake variant which really highlights the apple brandy presence by being sweeter than the JD and bringing that sweet apple crumble presence to the chocolate and fudge in the base beer. I thought this one was sweeter and not as hot as the JD. I also slightly preferred the JD version to this one.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 6/6/2013.

Appearance - Black body. Small khaki head with some reddish tinges at the edge.

Smell - Smells very sweet. Graham cracker and a little peppers. Lots of apple brandy.

Taste - Sweet apple brandy. Very sweet. Chocolate, but it's lacking a fudginess. Peppers cut in and turn into graham cracker with the oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Medium carbonation. Boozy.

Overall - The apple brandy makes it too sweet to compare to the other BA cakes, but it's good.

Photo of blackcoyote13
4.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at The Porter Beer Bar in Decatur, GA from a bottle. Pours a thick, opaque black with some minimal head. Heavy notes of harvest spices, cinnamon and some chocolate too. Taste definitely has the apple brandy barrel notes but is at times overwhelmed by rich spiced coconut flavors and chocolate undertones. Extremely complex with rotating flavor palettes that work in harmony. The finish is surprisingly spicy deep in your throat from the pepper additions. Quite a neat experience and absolutely delicious, although extremely rich and probably a bottle best split between two people. As my wife noted, tastes like how Cracker Barrel's Old Country store smells, but in a glass, loaded with coconut and seasoned with chili spices.

Photo of n2185
4.24/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: pours black with a finger of brown head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: apple brandy, oak, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, caramel, and booze.

T: oak, coconut, vanilla, brandy, fruits, oak, caramel, booze, and chili spices.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer avoids being watery or creamy.

O: a tasty and enjoyable beer overall. A little better than the bourbon, but not as good as the red wine barrel aged versions.

Photo of zac16125
4.61/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: 6/6/13

A: Pours a pitch black with 1/2 fingers width of dark mocha colored head. Head dissipates down quickly and leaves a few small patches of lacing.

S: An absolutely phenomenal aroma. Its starts with a huge cinnamon character along with some chocolate fudge. I then get some barrel notes with an apple brandy aroma. I also get some dark fruit and a bit of booze. Vanilla and subtle pepper heat. Wow.

T: Huge complexity here right from the first sip. I get apple brandy up front, this is followed by roasted malt and fudge notes, and finishes with cinnamon and bakers chocolate. I also get sweet dark fruits, vanilla, mocha bitterness, a hint of booze, Peppery heat builds as I drink. Absolutely delicious, and again, very complex.

M/D: Silky smooth, very low carbonation which is appropriate, mouthfeel on the thicker side, a bit chewy but somewhat syrupy as well. Surprisingly, drinkability is actually very good.

O: Just a fantastic beer. Ive now had the entire BA MC set, and I loved them all. It terms of my favorite of the three, Im tossing up this one and the Red Wine variant. The Red Wine is the most unique, and the barrel characters are the most prominent. Also the aroma is the best in that variant. This Apple Brandy variant slightly edges it out in taste though. They're neck and neck, but if I had to choose I think Id give preference to the Red Wine variant. All 3 are exceptional though, and certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of Rifugium
4.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appeared much like the base beer (which I also enjoyed quite a bit!), thick pour, opaque black with a nice cap of dark brown head that never completely faded, legs and lacing on the glass. Dark roasty malt aroma, sweetness, some added character from the apple brandy, cocoa, coffee, vanilla; as with the regular version, I didn't really get any cinnamon, and there were only hints of pepper spice when the beer warmed a bit. Amazing and complex taste, cocoa, dark chocolate, dark malts, caramel apple, toasted oak, vegetal vanilla bean...actually did get some cinnamon in this one, and the peppers were subdued yet definitely present, lending a prickly heat that emerged mid- to end-palate. Drinkability was, well, amazing, all things considered. The higher ABV was well-concealed, and the pepper heat was just tame enough to be obvious yet not effect the smoothness whatsoever. Full body, rich mouthfeel, with some robust grittiness--and I mean that in a good way. With all that's going on in this beer, it would be easy for it to be a mess, but everything was melded so well. Excellent!

Photo of Ant4711
4.96/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A- Pitch Black with a nice tan head

S- Dominated by brandy barrel, chocolate.

T- again very barrel foward, chocolate, coconut, vanilla. So amazing cant get enough of this beer

M- medium sticky, chewy. very nice

O- fantastic, amazing. Best beer by Westbrook yet

Photo of Seanniek91
4.99/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from a 650ml into a Smutty Big Beer glass. Cellar temp. Thank you CarolinaKevin! Shared with my brother.

Appearance- Pitch black with a thick brown head that leaves a pretty solid lacing.

Smell- Apple, mint, chocolate, cinnamon, brandy, oak. The apple and mint are really in the forefront on this one, even more so than the apple brandy Voodoo. Very very nice.

Taste- Apple, cinnamon, light pepper, mint, chocolate. All over the place. Truly incredible. No booze what so ever.

Mouthfeel- More carbonated than expected, and sooo smooth. Incredibly light booze heat, but that might even be the chili pepper.

Overall- One of the best beers I've ever had. Truly lives up to its hype and I'm glad I got to try it!

Photo of dotes_on_dipas
4.99/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-dark with 2 in brown head with great lacing into my snifter glass
S-aromas of brandy, chilis, chocolate...didn't smell the alcohol presence
T- absolutely the best stout I've had along with bcbs coffee..you get balance of all the flavors with no real presence of alcohol. You get a subtle burn from the peppers on the way down.
M-good full mouthful with good carbonation
O-one of my favorite beers to date and I'm a huge IPA guy. Glad the BA mc will be back.

Photo of orangesol
4.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DocJ007 for sharing this bottle with us during our ugly sweater christmas party tasting. Served with some actual Mexican cake just because...

A - Pours ink black with a small half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a light film that dissolves into nothing at all. Leaves little to no lace on the glass.

S - Smells of strong sweetness - mainly chocolate, vanilla and apples from the brandy - quickly giving way to mild chili heat, oak, dark fruits and the dark roasted grain. Quite nice, maybe a little barrel heavy.

T - Starts off with a mix of smooth chocolate fudge, vanilla beans and warm apple brandy quickly being joined by the mild chili heat, dark fruit, dry oak and the dark roasted grains. Finish is sweet with some light heat, clinging to the palate long after the finish. Every bit as good as the nose lead me to believe.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Big, roasty feel with some booze creeping in at the end of each sip. Probably the weakest part of this one.

O - I really liked this version. We drank this right after a Cali Brandy Hunahpu's and this was definitely better IMO. Not sure if this or the Jack Daniels was my favorite, I think I would lean JD, but I would love to have this again in the future. Thanks for the share Justin!

Photo of stakem
4.81/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks extended to Josh for sending these my way! Bomber into a snifter. The brew appears black with a very dark brown head atop. As the cap fades, it leaves spotty lace sticking to the glass and holds with a ring around the perimeter. A swirl tevives a silky finger of brown back to the surface.

The aroma is just fantastic...sweet apple, cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla and caramel. There is a deep wooden aspect evident along with a trace coffee roasted element. This is pretty much everything I could possibly ask for in the aroma of an apple brandy barrel stout. It perfectly executes the adjuncts of the brew integrated flawlessly with the barrel.

The taste is sweet with seemingly burnt sugars excreeting from the toast on the inside of the barrel. Apple core/skin flavoring is present with a chocolate flavoring that hints towards mild bitter cocoa and earth. A hint of cinnamon spice and warming peppers evolve with a tangy alcohol inclusion. The oaked flavor has a slightly earthy feel before finishing mildly stick with vanilla and caramel.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest to light level of carbonation. A very smooth, rich and slick feel to this brew makes it go down dangerously easy. This beer is nothing short of the truth... it exceeds all expectations and is just wowing. The flavors are just blended so well together and work to form a nearly flawless package. Nice contrasting peppery warming heat but enough residual sugar to tame it. I hate to compare it to another brewery but this is seriously like a spicier version of cigar city's Laird's aged Hunahpu. Chalk this up as the best beer I had in a very long time.

Photo of LancetherealLeader
4.74/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my first review, so here it goes...

This beer poured black and thick into a goblet (shared with wife and a friend for his birthday). The smell was rich and quite complex, with lots of chocolate. The intial taste had lots of apple, followed by intense chocolate and other sweet flavors. As the beer warmed, the booziness was a little more apparent, but did not detract from the taste. The heat on the back end was noticeable, but not as intense as a regular fresh MC. This beer was great to the last drop and was disappointed when the bottle was empty. I tried the Cabernet MC a few weeks ago, and as much as I liked that one, this one was even better. I'm glad that I have one more of these for a later date. Definitely looking forward to trying the Bourban MC next. Westbrook really hit a homerun with these BA Mexican Cakes!

Photo of homebrew311
4.67/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours similar to the rest of the variants... Dark brown with minimal head. Nose starts with apple and cinnamon and makes for some nice apple pie aromas. Chocolate and vanilla come next to the party and add a nice layer of complexity to the aroma. The taste starts out sweeter that the rest of the variants and is countered by some heavy cocoa character. This is followed up by heavy pepper character and vanilla and apple on the finish. The apple brandy really smooths out the base beer and makes it quite drinkable. Mouthfeel is just shy of being heavy with moderate carbonation. Overall, delicious!!

Photo of redfish2942
4.85/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 22oz bottle split 3 ways into tulip glasses.

Amazing color dark chocolate brown with a thick tan head that disappated quickly leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas of chils, brown sugar, and brandy filled the glass inviting you to take that first sip.

Bringing the glass for the first taste I was expecting a strong presence of alchol but experienced none. What I did get was a balanced taste of brown sugar, chocolate, and brandy with a slight feel of chilis on my throat as I swallowed it down.

This has got to be be the best of all three of the barrel aged Mexican Cakes and maybe one of the best stouts I have had to date.

I can only pray that Westbrook makes this an annual release.

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.8/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From notes of 3/21

We drank this side by side with AB Hunapu and this was far and above the better beer.

I think you need to do this type of comparison to really appreciate how well executed this beer really is. Yes, it appeared a bit sweet, but if it hadn't been I don't believe that you would have tasted the apple brandy to it's fullest.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cinnamon, chile, cake batter, and apple brandy aromas. Taste is much the same with cinnamon, cocoa, and apple brandy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and chile heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic apple brandy aroma and some very nice barrel aged flavors.

Photo of icehawk
4.2/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with GM

Appearance: Opaque black with short lasting dark brown head

Aroma: Intense cocoa... pretty much same as Cab version

Taste: Chocolate, apples

Palate: Again, extremely thick/heavy mouthfeel, slightly more so than the Cab. No pepper heat on this one.

Overall: The apple brandy add to an already extremely sweet beer, making this dessert wine sweet. The apple flavor is more subtle, but there. Get a friend or two to share your bottle with 'cause this sucker is BIG.

Photo of Jeffo
4.52/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Three bottle set most generously sent by cparles in a recent box. Thanks for these man. They were top class!

From a bomber into a snifter
Bottled 6 June 2013
Drank the red wine first, then the JD and finally the apple brandy.

APPEARANCE: Pours out black and yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, dark tan head with good retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident. A thick ring with touches of wisp remain until the end of the glass leaving some sticky dots of lacing down the sides of the glass. These all basically look the same, but this one had the best head and appropriate levels of visible carbonation. Best look of the bunch for sure.

SMELL: Big nose on this one, with brandy, oak, caramel and sweet, creamy vanilla as well. Nice cinnamon of course, with dark chocolate and well measured chili peppers tying it all together. Big, balanced and extremely enticing. All of these variants smell amazing, and this one might just challenge the red wine version for top spot.

TASTE: Milder flavors up front but there is definitely some brandy, oak and roasted chilies off the bat. Flavor comes out much more at the swallow, with lots of barrel notes, caramel, toffee and sweet vanilla and coconut, oak, bitter chocolate, spicy cinnamon and chilies all working in wonderful harmony. A touch of alcohol heat and spicy chili peppers linger on the palate. Really nice, though a tad hotter than the others.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Like the Jack Daniels variant, this is a touch lighter than the red wine, but it is only semi-creamy on the palate, going down fine with a chili bite at the swallow and finishing sticky. Some chili heat lingers.

OVERALL: Another simply awesome creation. This one was very similar in quality to the JD variant, though the feel was not quite as creamy and the flavor a touch hotter than hoped. While the red wine was perhaps my favorite of the three, both this one and the JD version are world class as well. I would go out of my way to drink these again, no question. Cheers to cparles for sending these over. Excellent stuff.

Photo of Skrypt
4.95/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours pitch black with little to no head. Leaves thick brown laces of foam as it slowly runs down the side of the snifter between sips.

S: Sweet and fruity nose with gentle notes of brandy and a hint of cinnamon.

T: So complex it's hard to describe. First thing that stands out is the apple brandy, but it's not at all boozy. Then you start to notice the sweetness that dominates your palate for a brief moment until the vanilla notes pop in. Swallow and a really gentle pepper burn sets in that lingers in your mouth, begging to be quenched with another sip.

M: Surprisingly smooth texture, and it's not as thick as one might think. The Habanero is present enough to leave a subtle burning sensation.

Overall: Absolutely incredible beer, and as close to perfection as I've ever tasted. It's so complex. From start to finish, this just obliterates the taste buds with ecstasy.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

bomber thanks to tommy at the rose inn. into a founders snifter.

pours a dark black with a great beige head. the smell is heavenly with the apple brandy barrels being very prevalent but the chocolate and peppers are still detectable too. the taste is possibly the best thing I've ever tasted. Apple brandy is delicious and so smooth...followed by chocolate and peppers and cocoa. dear god. full bodied with perfect carbonation.

overall this is perfect. I feel special to have drank this.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.8/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lots going on with this beer. It pours fairly unassuming with a deep brown/black body. The nose has hints of spice and booze primarily. The taste is liquid Apple Jacks. The apple brandy blends with the cinnamon and other spices in perfect harmony. One of the most interesting flavors I've had and certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The last of the set generously provided by Sean. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - They all looked kind of the same. Tan foam that settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and specks of lacing. All are very dark brown, revealing coloration when held to the light. The Apple Brandy one had a tad less head volume for some reason.

S - A nice mix of apple brandy sweetness and sweet malt flavors from the base stout. Less oak than the Jack Daniel's version, but more than the Red Wine. Also a bit less spicy in regards to cinnamon and chile compared to the others. Quite sweet; evocative of cake, with the loads of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits.

T - The taste is superb. It's like Apple Brandy-drizzled chocolate cake with spicy chile notes in the finish that help balance things and keep them from getting overly cloying. Loads of caramel, vanilla, and dark fruits.

M - This is the last one we drank, so by this point the chile heat was getting pretty noticeable. Medium-full body, pleasant lower carbonation, and lingering stickiness and chewiness on the palate.

D - Great stuff, and just as good as the Jack Daniel's version in execution. I preferred this one as I'm a bit burnt out on whiskey barrel-aged beers these days, but mileage may vary depending on personal tastes.

Photo of siege06nd
4.87/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Shilt (aka Sam, aka "The Mayor of Richmond") for the tick!!

A. Pours an inky black. No head to speak of, but some thick oily legs adorn the sides of the glass. Subtle crimson and burgundy colors on the edge. Beautiful, port-like appearance.

S. Wow. Amazing. Perfection. Very much has a cinnamon toast crunch/streusel nose. Remarkable. Chocolate drizzle, singed pie crust, mild apple, dark cherry, cinnamon, coconut, vanilla.

T. Follows the nose very closely. Fudge, toasted almond, big sweet apple, grape, and some nice heat on the back end. Big, thick, sweet and coating. Like chocolate cake with some apple jam filling and red pepper flakes. Really great.

M. The evolution across each sip is incredible. Sweetness turns to roast, roast turns to mildly fruity, fruity turns to dark chocolate, dark chocolate turns to spice. Wow. Perfect balance and a remarkable integration of the base and barrel. Probably the best use of an apple brandy barrel I've had the pleasure of trying. A frickin symphony.

O. First, The Mayor of Richmond may need to be promoted to the Governor. Incredible generosity, Sam. Second, this is not only the best beer I had this year but one of the best ever. This is mind blowingly good and will leave you quivering in equal parts joy and awe like the first time you copped a feel. True innovation and creativity in liquid form, AB Mexican Cake is deserving of very accolade.

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Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.