(512) Cascabel Cream Stout
(512) Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #141
Ranked #4,760
4.09 | pDev: 11.25%
(512) Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Notes: Smooth and roasty, and black as night, (512) Cascabel Cream Stout is brewed to a hair under 6% abv using almost 90% Organic Two Row and Crystal Malts, Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. Non-fermentable Brewers Lactose is added for lasting sweetness, and over 20 pounds of Guajillo Chiles are added after fermentation to warm you up when the night gets chile.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 148
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 06/25/19
Had on-tap at The Phoneix at Westheimer in Houston, TX

Appearance - Served up in a pint, black cola brown edging. Mostly barren surface with a razor thin ring of suds on the outer edge. A few tiny spots make up the sparse lacing.

Smell - Sweet milk chocolate and lesser roast with a hint of spice.

Taste - Follows the nose. Milky chocolate is prominent with a touch of roast to help curb the sweetness. A mild heat from the peppers builds after several sips to help cut the sweetness as well. Aftertaste lingers with chocolate, creaminess and peppery heat.

Mouthfeel - Near full-bodied with fair carbonation. Silky, near creamy body makes for a nice drinker before a slightly dry finish.

Overall - Really well thought out milk stout, combating the sweetness of the style with touches of roast and peppery heat.

 843 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives espresso brown with a modest cap that, when swirled, leaves some lacing on the pint glass

Smell: Roast, chocolate and chile

Taste: Milk chocolate and roast, up front, with the chile adding heat from the middle through the finish; the more the beer warms the hotter the chile presence

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I can't help but feel this beer would be improved by amping up the malt complexity; I enjoy the way the chile has been used in moderation but the malt flavors are a bit one dimensional

 555 characters

Photo of InI
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the drag bar.
First off, this is an excellent stout. Incredibly balanced and not an overwhelming maltiness you expect in a stout. Good head that retains a small ring all the way through til the end and leaves lots of lacing. Refreshing mouth feel. Explosion of flavors roasted barley, coffee, sweetness, and finishes with the perfect amount of slight spice and chile flavor that leaves you craving more. Excellent brew I wish 512 bottled or canned I want to take it home with me.

 489 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap recently and adored it, so I jumped at the chance to nab a 64 oz growler fill today. Reviewed live as a milk stout.

Served chilled into a pilsner glass in Austin, TX, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are high. The weight and angle of the growler necessitated an unusually vigorous pour.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 4 fingers wide. Gorgeous tan colour, great creaminess. Full, thick, and supple, with a soft overall appearance and an even consistency. Leaves a webby coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Retention is excellent - easily 10 minutes. This is damned impressive.

BODY: As you'd expect, it's an opaque solid jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a great looking milk stout. There are of course ways it could be improved - a darker richer head, a bubble show, a better complexion - but that's nitpicking.

AROMA: The subtle ancho chile characteristics are fantastic, and the chile is just as present as it should be. The lactose sugar, dark malt, and chocolate malt-induced sweetness isn't too overt; in fact, this may be one of the more restrained milk stout aromas I've ever encountered. The roasted barley is nowhere near as prominent as it ought to be.

Overall, the aroma promises a balanced no-frills milk stout with some interesting chile character. Aromatic intensity is mild at most.

No off-notes, hop character, or yeast character is detectable. This is certainly to style.

TASTE: Not quite as good as I remember it being on-draught.

The chile heat in the third act is the first element I notice, but it's present from the early second act - it's just so subtly executed. It does grow on you and intensify as the beer comes to temperature, which I love. The chile heat isn't bad by any means - on par with mild ancho. I can't see anyone needing a second beverage whilst drinking this.

Predictably, dark/schwarz malts, chocolate malts, and lactose sugar fill out the malt backbone and lend it sweetness, but this isn't anywhere near as sweet as I expected, and is certainly on the tamer side for the style. Added complexity comes from cream, a hint of marshmallow, and a touch of roast. I crave more roasted barley, and constructively this build could do with still more intricacy - why not coffee, hazelnut, caramelized pecan, actual chocolate, cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, etc. It's adequately complex, but there's room for more.

The blend of admittedly basic dark malt sweetness with the subtle chile is just damned effective. There's an elegance to this beer's straightforward quality and balance.

The flavour duration is long, largely as result of the subtle chile heat that lingers into the aftertaste, encouraging another sip. Flavour depth and intensity are average or above average. This is absolutely a cohesive brew, and I do find that it tastes like a gestalt whole; it's hard to imagine removing anything. And the chile doesn't feel forced into the otherwise standard milk stout build at all.

I'm really enjoying this one, but my biggest issue is with the light vinegar that accompanies the chile - though I don't remember this characteristic from the draught version.

TEXTURE: Smooth, creamy, wet, and medium-bodied, with modest thickness. It's not a syrupy, sticky, or viscous mess like it could be. It's unrefreshing, but then no good milk stout isn't. Well-carbonated. Has adequate weight and heft on the palate, but it's not boozy. The alcohol is well-disguised.

OVERALL: Easily the most memorable milk stout I've had this year so far, and frankly I doubt I'll see it beaten. For my money, this crushes market imposters from other states like Left Hand's Milk Stout or Odell's Lugene's, but I'm not sure whether I prefer this or Lakewood's The Temptress in the Texan market. In any case, it's high praise when a milk stout is mentioned in the same vein as those other quality offerings, and I'll definitely plan on having this again. This growler fill has numbered days, gentlemen. This is worth seeking out when in Texas, and manages to attain a high drinkability even with the presence of chile heat - which is very tough to do. This is absolutely one of 512's best beers.


02.05.15: 2nd impressions from the same growler:

The chile is muted when this is served cold, and the sweetness takes over to its detriment. Needs time to warm.

Though it has (already) deteriorated somewhat in the growler, it remains a tasty brew with subtle chili heat and aptly high sweetness. Roasted barley presence would be nice, but overall it's pretty well balanced for what it is and I definitely like it.

Its high sweetness does limit its drinkability, but it's easily one of the best milk stouts available in Texas and in the USA (based on what I've had). Well worth trying.


Spring 2015:

2018.02.03 On-draught @ the brewery:

Dig the subtlety of the chili heat.


 4,966 characters

Photo of erushing
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved the heat the first year I had this, but the recent version I had was a lot sweeter with very little heat. I'm not sure if the recipe changed, but I much preferred the heat.

 181 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.03/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black pour with a brown head the fades quickly. Mild roasted coffee and chocolate upfront. Body is creamy and the spicy flavor comes through sublimely on the finish.

 171 characters

Photo of Ford
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Flying Saucer Houston.

I thought I loved 512 Pecan Porter... and I do... but THIS is now my favorite 512 beer... what a delight.

Just so smooth and good and tasty.... I loved it. I'll be having this often, and I hope to start seeing it around more. Wish this was a year round instead of seasonal.. it is just that good.

 331 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried on tap at Crickets, 1 Mar 2012. Served in a shaker pint.

Very small dark brown head quickly dissipates. Lightly carbonated. Black, opaque. Aroma is roasty, chocolatey with a hint of some capsaicin heat. Starts very sweet and chocolatey. Heat quickly kicks in. Not overly hot but very noticeable and more than in the aroma. Chocolate, coffee and peppers intertwine throughout. Medium body, alcohol is hidden. Finish is chocolatey sweet. Long lingering peppery warming aftertaste.

Nicely done, but probably wouldn't have more than one at a sitting.

 554 characters

Photo of 2xHops
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. The appearance was just perfect for me with the small but healthy amount of tan/brown frothy head developing a bit.

Unlike few other beers that I had tried recently that had chiles in them, this beer was a success. It had all of the hallmarks of things you expect from a milk stout with a hint of the chiles kicking it up a notch a little bit. The roasting flavor profile wasn't overpowering at all, and I thought it was a great balance of the syrupy flavor that milk stouts give you to go along with a little dash of chiles making it a lively experience.

 600 characters

Photo of randal
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be the best stout currently produced in Texas which used to not be saying much except in recent years a lot of great breweries have stepped up. The dried red chile taste of cascabel (actually tastes more like a pasilla negro than cascabel but no matter) is seamlessly woven into the overall taste of the beer from the aroma to the tickle of spice on the back of the throat.

Normally I enjoy chile beers but don't do more than one (I'm looking at you Wynkoop and Rogue Chipotle) however I found myself ordering multiple pints of this as it tastes as though the chile is *supposed* to be there.

 602 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a delicious black with a thin head of tight bubbles.

There’s a light aroma to it, some roast but not a spicy aroma. It’s nicely sweet with some spice on it. The spice really comes out on the finish like a kiss on the cheek, becoming more present as it warms. There’s a fantastic, full mouthfeel and a great kick on the finish that gives it character and depth. Oooh, this is a good one. More, please.

 419 characters

Photo of jefe2
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Whip In 2/2011
abv: 6%
a - opaque dark brown, with a finger or two of cappuccino color head
s - chocolate malts, a small hint of coconut, coffee
t - very similar to 512 pecan porter, but without the banana nose and finish. It's got a mild smokey, chalky finish with a little bit of a sweet tangy zing at the end. There is another interesting element in mid sip, sweet (like fruit hard candy, but not overbearing) and slightly metallic spicy.
m - nice body, little bit thick
d - quite good for this a chocolaty stout. Has a nice creamy sweetness, and hint of spice. More drinkable than Pecan Porter

 612 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served up on cask at The Ginger Man in Austin.
Basic black with a short, dark tan cap that didn't linger for long. Soapy bubbles, not unusual for a cask offering. The aroma was sweet and malty, roasty with some chocolate, lactose sweetness, and a hint of spice. Bitterness was low to moderate overall, balanced to caramel malty sweetness, more lactose and milk chocolate, roast. Peppery spice showed up in the finish. This was balanced quite nicely so that you didn't notice it much at first, but it grew a little bit as you finished your pint. By the time I was done, the peppery character was prominent, but not overpowering. I don't know that it would have been enjoyable past a single pint, but I liked the one that I had. Carbonation was appropriately low, body was medium to full. A solid offering overall.

 812 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pour House.

Cascabel Cream shows a rich darkness to the body that looks like black coffee with a few drops of milk. A wispy tan head tries its best to stick around, but doesn't last long. The aroma has a dash of spiciness, but is largely comprised of a musty, earthy roastiness and black malt husks.

The flavor isn't quite what one might expect from a "Cream" stout, or a pepper-flavored stout either. Nice roasted notes and a drying finish of baker's chocolate and hops. More like an "Imperial Irish Dry Stout", perhaps? A slight hint of peppery heat does creep into the finish, but it's too little too late. Mouthfeel is thin for the style and a bit grainy with a dry finish. A rare miss for (512), but Cascabel is still very drinkable and I nevertheless enjoyed it.

 780 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tall glass at the Addison Saucer. Kind of surprising to see a stout served in the tall weizen glasses.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with some chilis mixed in. A fairly unique aroma and quite enjoyable.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of sweet chocolate with some roasted malt, spice from the chilis and some cream notes. I also get a little bit of coffee. No hops in the aroma, this is all about the malt.

Medium to thick, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice, easy drinking sweet stout with a nice added twist of peppers. Great beer.

 634 characters

Photo of lnashsig
3.31/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got my growler filled at Freetail in San Antonio on Wednesday night, poured about 24 hrs after growler fill. I know, don't worry, I drank plenty of Freetail beer while I was there, and got 5 growlers of their stuff too.

Poured into my Dfh snifter, a tiny bit of tan head appears, and then quickly resides. Smell: I definitely get some dairy flavors, some smoke and chipotle flavors, and maybe some chocolate flavors in the background. Taste: some sort of weird smoke and light pepper taste hits first, and then there is the cream/milk flavor at the end. This is unique for sure, and I like the creativity used, but I'm not sure if this pepper taste really belongs here (although I know its intentional). Mouthfeel: huge carbonation is nice, it is silky and creamy. Nice feeling beer. Drinability: goes down pretty easily, no flavor is really offensive, but I don't know that I'd get a growler of it again.

 906 characters

Photo of kinupanda
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tapped at the San Antonio Flying Saucer. Pours an extremely dark jet black. The head was almost nonexistent, but the foam formed a nice light tan rim. The nose was as advertised, with an undeniable chocolate roasted malt overtone, and a perceptible sweet "cafe con leche" character. The taste was slightly bitter with some spiciness from the Guajillo peppers, but the not-too-high carbonation makes this sharp juxtaposition not too overwhelming. The coffee aftertaste lingers, but is somewhat light.

FourthBeer potential: ABOVE AVERAGE. A worthy effort by (512)... nothing too imposing, but the Guajillo pepper taste might be too sharp as compared to other porters to make this sessionable.

 696 characters

Photo of champ103
3.03/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Petrol Station in Houston.

A: Pours nearly opaque black. A bit of brown comes in around the edges. The Petrol Station has a tendency to just fill the pint glass all the way. So little head is sitting in the glass. Though I could see from the pour a thick tan foam.
S: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee. A bit acrid and astringent. Light on the peppers.
T: A big malt bomb. Coffee, chocolate, and lots of roast. An acrid and metallic flavor as well. Some hot Chile peppers linger. This does not mesh well.
M/D: A medium to full body. Well carbonated. It was a little harder for me to put back than I would like, and I did not care to come back to this either.

A milk stout with Chile peppers is an interesting idea, but it did not work very well for me. Mix in the acrid character of the stout, and I am not a fan. I love 512, but this is a miss for me.

 874 characters

(512) Cascabel Cream Stout from (512) Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 148 ratings