(512) Cascabel Cream Stout | (512) Brewing Company

146 Ratings

Brewed by:
(512) Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by champ103 on 01-23-2011

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 146 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
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 earlier today. Reviewed live as a milk stout since they call it a stout and the website specifies that they added brewers lactose for sweetness.

Served chilled into a pilsner glass at low altitude 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:

 5,000 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Dicers
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ShanePB
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
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 Karibourgeois
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
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 sweemzander
2.25/5  rDev -44.7%

Photo of greenspointexas
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of JamLand
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
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 champ103
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
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

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of rspauldi
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of shigg85
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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(512) Cascabel Cream Stout from (512) Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 146 ratings
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