Mexican Cake - Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Westbrook Brewing Co.

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #40
Ranked #189
4.61 | pDev: 5.64%
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States
Notes: Mexican Cake aged in BLiS maple syrup bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 163 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DoctorZombies
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

At 55 degrees pours jet black with the barest fizzy thin dark brown head; poor cap retention; thin ring disappeared quickly; small dots of lace with swirl; heavy long syrupy legs. Strong aromas of bourbon and maple, followed by vanilla and coconut; some booze on the retro nasal. Chillies pepper sauce, sweet maple, brown sugar; dark bittersweet chocolate, Baker’s chocolate; bourbon, vanilla and toasted coconut; dark fruit in the middle - plums and sugared raisins; finish is spicy chillies, bourbon and sweet maple. Medium body, smooth silky feel; light carbonation; pepper burn/alcohol bite all over tongue; warmth from 10.2% abv; not thick or adjuncty feeling. Overall, the “Mexican Cake” is solidly present with plenty of spicy chillies with a hot tamales sauce linger; and there is plenty of sweet maple and underlying chocolate to balance the heat; layers of barrel aromas/tastes of bourbon, vanilla and toasted coconut, and digging down, dark fruits; reminds me of CBS, and Morning Wood (without the adjuncts feel) for Maple content, but more complex which elevates into layers of bourbon and spicy peppers and barrel notes for a delicious slice of Mexican Cake drizzled with maple with two shots of bourbon poured on top for good measure!

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Photo of jheimbigner
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2018 vintage opened cellar temp on 4/2/2020

Pours dark as night with a wispy mocha head.nose is sweet maple, bourbon , vanilla, either some ethenol or hot peppers. Taste follows the nose - starts very sweet with maple, bourbon, and vanilla, this leads to some pepper and a taste of bakers chocolate, the finish is a nice heat from the peppers and a lingering sweetness. Flavors are fantastic but to nitpick they could be slightly better blended but best flavor I have had in a BA cake. Feel is thin for the style, but with the intense nose and taste, the lighter body of the beer works well. Minimal carb. Overall, this is the best variant I have had to date and for a two year old beer, the flavors are holding up excellent.

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jheimbigner from Washington, Apr 03, 2020
Photo of Vidblain
4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2018, drank on Feb 17th, 2020. I'm really impressed by the way in which the maple has held up in this beer - it's not just an adjunct flavor, but also a richness to the texture and mouth feel that make it different from the standard Mexican Cake (or barrel-aged variants). The spices play surprisingly well with the sweetness of the maple - I'm really surprised by this in particular. It's not something that sounds great, but the final product is quite good. The barrel is very nice to boot - mellow bourbon, smooth, no alcohol burn.

I'm really amazed by how reasonably this bottle was had - it's a terrific beer and really should command more in trade.

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Vidblain from Minnesota, Feb 24, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Super excited to try a BA version of one of my favorite beers, let alone a maple barrel version! Smell takes on more of the flavors from the original: cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, hot peppers, cake breadiness, black strap molasses, slight dark fruit and smoke, plus then the bourbon and wood from the barrel, maple is there but faint. Not as pure smelling as original, but heavier. Taste is incredible, so much complexity, take all of those aromas from the smell, add smoky maple, caramel, and rich malt work. Finish has good kick from peppers, plus counters the sweetness and robust barrel well. Feel has the spice, has deep richness, has robust barrel elements, sweet adjuncts, and some graininess too, just so much goodness. An amazing beer, apparently I rated the orignal higher, but honestly for me they are equals, just depends on your mood

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jun 17, 2019
Photo of gcamparone
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Westbrook tulip glass. Allowed to warm over an hour.

Pours an opaque black body with a one finger dark brown head that reduces slowly to a ring of foam and leaves no lacing.

Aromas are sweet and inviting - vanilla-bourbon and milk chocolate, rich maple syrup, bittersweet cocoa. Habanero peppers in the background.

On the tongue the habanero shows up MUCH more - in an incredibly balanced, sweet and spicy cocktail of rich fudge brownies drizzled with maple-bourbon frosting, melding perfectly a cinnamon-caramel-bittersweet chocolate follow through, lending way to more habanero and sweet maple on the finish. Light spicy burn on the finish but nothing overwhelming. I can taste every adjunct in this beer and they're all perfectly balanced.

Body is rich, mouthfeel is spot on, not too thick but perfectly silky and medium-low carbonation.

This was one of the best beers I've had in 2019 thus far - it takes the base beer and adds a maple-bourbon dimension to add complexity without overtaking the base flavors. This one hits all the check boxes for a world class beers!

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gcamparone from Rhode Island, May 12, 2019
Photo of MJSFS
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark cola with a mocha head that quickly recedes to an ever-present ring with no lacing. Thick heavy alcohol legs coat the glass when titled. Aroma is bourbon, maple syrup, and chocolate. Taste is sugar, big time chocolate, cinnamon, bourbon, and habanero in that order. It is very complex, and the flavors compliment each other instead of conflicting with each other. There is a long lingering peppery burn which makes this beer standout to me in comparison to Hunahpu’s and Abraxas. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and coating. Overall this is an absolute treat. I love the base beer, but the Maple Bourbon barrel treatment makes an amazing beer world-class.

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MJSFS from Florida, Mar 30, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I found this variation to obviously be of the same commendable quality as "plain" BAMC, but a bit sweeter with a touch more raisin. I didn't really get the smoky, caramelized maple flavor I was hoping for, but hey, can't complain about getting another version of barrel aged Mexican Cake. It still has that distinct spicy heat with a slick, thin body that finishes semi-dry.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Mar 14, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very dark black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like sweet dark maple, pepper spice, cinnamon sticks, chocolate fudge, oak, and light bourbon.

The maple is super strong here, even without a "direct" addition of - these must have been wet barrels. There's a touch of the underlying bourbon, and some nice oakiness, too. The pepper does a lot of work here, adding a tingly spiciness that helps balance out the heavy maple sweetness here. The cinnamon adds a sticky candy sweetness, too. I don't get much of the vanilla of the base beer, but there's a lot of silky chocolate character here. Even though it's sweet, there's enough spiciness to keep it drinkable and not taxing.

This is medium bodied, silky and creamy, with a appropriate level of carbonation for the style. It's surprisingly drinkable, as there's no booziness at all.

This is truly quite excellent - it's decadent, and much, much better than the base Mexican Cake.

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GreesyFizeek from New York, Feb 14, 2019
Photo of pmarlowe
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2018 release. Released about a month ago.

A: Pours an inky, dull black with a smattering of dark brown, RIS-like head. No lacing or much retention to speak of.

S: Cinnamon, dark chocolate, red chili, austere oak, vanilla, light roast, anise, dried plum, and a nominal amount of maple and bourbon.

T: Cinnamon, maple syrup, dark melted chocolate, alongside light bourbon and vanilla bean, finishing with a lingering medium-light heat from the chilis (not hot, but plenty enough to let you know it’s there). Moderate sweetness brings things together but fatigues the palate over the course of a pint.

M: Medium-full body, slightly sticky, with medium carbonation. Mild alcohol warmth.

O: Tasty and well-constructed beer, but the maple and bourbon are not that noticeable.

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pmarlowe from Virginia, Jan 18, 2019
Photo of lupercmda
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is outstanding. Pours dark black with a thin tan head. Smells of light bourbon with strong maple. Nice sweet upfront maple with a wonderful chili finish. It is warm on the palate but not too much. Fabulous beer

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lupercmda from North Carolina, Dec 21, 2018
Photo of Fireman_RK
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 Batch
L: Dark mocha hues with a rich sandy head and minimal lacing
S: Tons of peppers and cinnamon ensconced in a delicious dark amber maple
T: Sticky Grade B maple met by a muddled, but pronounced and welcomed heat by the habanero; followed up with a sweet vanilla frosting and fudge on the finish
F: Nice and rich - not crazy thick, but aided by the gooey maple
O: One of my favorite BA Cake variants. Outstanding depth of flavor and rich maple notes - just incredibly done.

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Fireman_RK from North Carolina, Jul 20, 2018
Photo of Dragginballs76
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours thick black with decent tan head that settles to a thick ring. Spotty lacing around the glass.

Aroma - Huge barrel aroma, peppers come out nicely, the maple is a little subdued but there, big chocolate, cinnamon and bourbon aroma. A very in your face aroma everything is bog except the maple.

Taste - Wow the maple sweetness is much stronger on several levels. The maple comes in first along with a rich chocolate cupcake flavor then transitions into a nice pepper burn. The maple comes back in the end once the heat settles a bit. The barrel is there but not as strong as the nose.

Feel - Heavy thick creamy feel, nice heat from the peppers just right. Nice dry finish.

Overall - Really well done stout everything comes together so well.

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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina, Aug 18, 2017
Photo of mothman
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Tan head but not a lot. Dark brown/black color.

Nose is sweet and the maple shows a lot. Vanilla and cake fudge. Peppers are faint in the nose. Nice barrel flavors. Nice amount of cinnamon.

Taste: The maple is up there and the peppers show much more. Sweet and spicy. Cocoa and vanilla. The heat builds up. Typical cola/dr. Pepper flavors I get from the other cakes. Cinnamon. Awesome bourbon flavors.

This was up there with risers and I actually preferred it more because the peppers showed more. Still could be thicker, but so complex and so enjoyable.

2018 vintage:
Tan head. Black color. Thick.

Lots of peppers and spice. Cinnamons, vanilla, sweet maple, chipotle peppers with a nice roast, chocolate, fudge, warming bourbon.

Full bodied, smooth, warming, and spicy. This is a great blend. Can’t believe how similar this was to b1. Maybe a touch thicker. 4.72

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mothman from Minnesota, Jul 05, 2017
Photo of gibgink
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one outstanding variant of the original. Pours black, and the maple shows itself upon olfactory inspection. Taste is just incredible. While the maple is the main attractions, there are hints of the other flavors, and I love how the heat doesn't kick in until the end. Better than the original in my opinion.

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gibgink from Missouri, Apr 10, 2017
Photo of rabbott2
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 variant drank on 4/2/2016

This is definitely a great beer. Due to the limited number of bottles, the hype and asking price for this probably overrates this thing, but it certainly is excellent. It is probably best after completing warming because the peppers settle down a bit and the maple explodes. The complexity of this is incredible. Notes of cinnamon, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut, bourbon, sweet dark chocolate, maple, oak, molasses and so on. It's really great

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rabbott2 from Illinois, Apr 03, 2017
Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Black body. Smells of peppers, bourbon, chocolate, bourbon, and a little maple. This thing is aggressively spicy. More than the regular bourbon. Chocolate. Bourbon. Maple sweetness and lingering spice. Heavy and sweet. A little boozy. I prefer the regular bourbon over this. A little too sweet and even though it's much spicier, it doesn't elevate it.

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Photo of Brian1980
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good beer. Way to overhyped. If you have a chance to try it then go for it. But not even close to being worth what people are asking. You've been warned.

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Brian1980 from Indiana, Dec 05, 2016
Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I couldn't have been more impressed with this beer. Loved the sweetness from the maple and the spices came through very well. Of the Cakes I've had, this is 2nd to the Double Barrel version from a couple years ago but not far off at all. Would be happy to try this one again.

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t2grogan from Arizona, Nov 26, 2016
Mexican Cake - Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 163 ratings