Mexican Cake
Westbrook Brewing Co.

Mexican CakeMexican Cake
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Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #210
Ranked #496
4.4 | pDev: 8.41%
May 07, 2022
Feb 01, 2012
Mexican CakeMexican Cake
Notes: 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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

Look: Pours an almost pitch black shade of brown with a one and a half finger, khaki colored head of foam. Excellent head retention, very little lacing.

Aroma: Dark fudge and chocolate liquor. Some sweet marshmallow and sticky toffee.

Taste: Restrained flavors of bittersweet dark chocolate upfront, almost like brownies and molasses. Leans into notes of short bread cookies and sweet iced coffee midpalate. Finishes on very gentle notes of prickly habanero pepper and cinnamon. Heat / Scoville intensity is very low. Flavor is very well rounded and gentle, almost supple and delicate for such a strong 10.5% Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: Silky. Velvety. Gentle. Rich. Low carbonation. Mid weight body. Sugars and spices never comes across to the palate as cloying, slimy or overtly heavy.

Overall: I'm very, very impressed by this. I love mexican hot chocolate style stouts. The peppers worked just perfectly here, they are neither too assertive or too restrained and I really appreciate the mouthfeel not being slick or sugary.

May 07, 2022
4.38 by steve8robin from Massachusetts on Apr 18, 2022
4.05 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Feb 28, 2022
4.5 by shigg85 from Japan on Feb 09, 2022
Photo of jngls
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by jngls from Germany

Canned 4 months ago. Can to snifter.

Look: Black with a full, golden brownish foam that doesn‘t last long.

Smell: Intense chocolate and cocoa notes accentuated by a subtle chili heat.

Taste: Milk chocolate and cocoa notes. Hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Intense heat. Subtle sweetness. No bitterness.

Feel: Full and creamy. Thick but not too oily.

Overall: This is great! Chocolate and cocoa notes accompanied by an everlasting chili heat. Roasty and smooth at the same time. Complex and exciting even without any BA treatment. One of the the best base stouts I know. Probably THE best one.

Jan 02, 2022
4.28 by ummswimmin from New Jersey on Dec 30, 2021
Photo of zeff80
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by zeff80 from Missouri

On draft at Craft Brewed in Nashville. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It left sticky lacing. It smelled of cinnamon, dark chocolate, vanilla and spicy peppers. Great chocolate and toffee taste with cinnamon and chile heat. This didn't disappoint. A classic Mexican stout.

Nov 17, 2021
Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beejay from Virginia

A: black in color, ours like oil, with a dark brown head on top.

S: sweet with dark brown sugar, with cinnamon and chocolate.

T: cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla, with a little kick in the back of peppers.

M: thick body, moderate carbonation, and slightly slick finish.

O: overall an interesting brew. The spice is a touch high for me for the balance.

Oct 09, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
3.88/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

Canned on 5/28/21; consumed on 10/1/21

Pours a viscous, oily, jet-black body capped with nearly three fingers of thick, fluffy, pale mocha foam; good head retention leaves ¾ of a finger of lush cap, a moderate, frothy collar, and a moderate spread of chunky, webby lacing clinging temporarily to the walls of the glass.

Aroma presents charry vanilla enmeshed with earthy inklings of habañero advancing across the bouquet; chocolate cake batter evolves to a creamier vanilla on the back end, where the more forward pepper phases into roast and masks lighter cinnamon tones.

Taste opens with notes of charry cacao accented with touches of vanilla as lighter cinnamon proceeds through gently to roasted malts beneath ripe spice from fresh habañero; a coffee-like roast phases easily toward creamy milk chocolate on the back end and into the close.

Mouthfeel offers a medium body, at first creamy in texture before an encroaching charry roast takes hold into the mid-palate; a subdued, moderate-mild carbonation prevents the peppery spice from overwhelming into the back end, where it eases to the finish with a roasty kick.

The notions of a classically constructed stout, adjuncted for richness though committed to a core of balances roast, are all satisfying here; however, so long as peppery spice grazes every aspect of the profile, it is in large part held back from a greater expression.

Oct 02, 2021
4.46 by dsshuck from Delaware on Oct 02, 2021
4.4 by Sound_Explorer from Washington on Sep 26, 2021
4.51 by curlybird from Pennsylvania on Sep 24, 2021
4.02 by gbiello from Massachusetts on Sep 15, 2021
Photo of Smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Smakawhat from Maryland

Poured from the bottle into a teku glass. Bottle May 17th 2021.

Beautiful looking stout. Deep dark mocha forming head, a rich full pour out of the bottle inky, and deep walnut brown black, with an oily sheen. Creamy forming top layer while slowly settling down.

Delicious inviting aroma. Hot peppers with a good hint of fruity like action. Green pepper skin, nice dark chocolate that's a mix of soft and dry cocoa flavors on the nose. Sweet hints of soft cake like vanilla as well. Not picking up cinnamon flavors so much, but everything here is so very well put together. There's even a touch of light coffee bean sensations as well. A place you can really get lost in here.

Really beautiful palate. First sip is a thick ganache bitter chocolate rush on the palate. Nice small heat, but much sense of warm phenolic spice. Dark chocolate and cocoa coat all over. The finish is exceptionally memorable. Finishes with excellent pepper heat warmth, with the slowest lingering spicy build up even after the swallow. This has to be one of the most controlled chile infused beers I have ever had. The sense of warmth and slow burn is just perfection, nice and mellow, and building to a very tolerable but noticeable spice. Lots of char and roast angles also, melding nicely with deep chocolate.

This is an exceptionally put together stout. Would love to try the barrel versions of this someday, till then, this is about as close as one can get to a real non barrel aged rich stout you can get.

Aug 26, 2021
4.48 by jera1350 from Minnesota on Aug 24, 2021
Photo of BigIronH
3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BigIronH from Michigan

Pours a syrupy, thick pitch black. No head. Dark caramel ring and some very spotty lacing. Smell is raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and some spice. Tastes follows suit with a melted milk chocolate front followed by spicy cinnamon, accented with vanilla and some very delightful spice from the peppers in the aftertaste. Feel is silky smooth and chewy. I liked this more than I thought I would.

Aug 01, 2021
4.37 by SFNC from North Carolina on Jul 31, 2021
4 by ejimhof from Pennsylvania on Jul 28, 2021
Photo of morimech
4.02/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
by morimech from Minnesota

Bottled on 02/18/21. This is a highly anticipated beer I have had for years and I finally get to drink a bottle. Pours a used motor oil black with a small head that settles to a thin cap. Aroma of vanilla and cinnamon. A bit letdown by the aroma as it is only adjuncts. The flavor takes another course however. I get chocolate, mild roasted malt, with a bit of habanero heat in the finish. I would of liked some habanero tropical fruit flavor. Alcohol is well hidden. Does not taste overly sweet. Big body and nicely carbonated. Did not quite live up to expectations but still a good beer.

Jul 23, 2021
Photo of jkblr
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by jkblr from Indiana

22oz bottled on 5/5/21 (about 10 weeks ago) poured into a Duvel glass at just above fridge 10.5% ABV. The beer pours dense very dark brown rusty brown colored head. The head recedes to a thin ring and a few tiny bubbles. Minimal lacing. The aroma is mild with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, pepper and vanilla. The taste is semisweet roasty base with chocolate and vanilla popping first, followed by the pepper and cinnamon. Minimal to moderate bitterness. The habanero heat is dominant when cold or cool, but as it warms the cocoa and vanilla become much more expressive. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a peppery, dry finish. Overall, excellent. It takes some skill to brew a stout like this and have it come out right. Real, tasty pepper heat that hits hard, but still allows the other ingredients and the base malt to shine.

Jul 17, 2021
5 by doctorgary from New York on Jul 14, 2021
4.6 by Danmullens1 from Wisconsin on Jul 12, 2021
4.26 by Scottsbeer from Florida on Jul 11, 2021
4.5 by jtransel from Illinois on Jul 08, 2021
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by RaulMondesi from California

Sweet hell… You dip your beak in this son of a gun and it just lights up the night’s sky like Disneyland at 9:30 PM (my north OC peeps will feel me). Just wow. All kinds of wow. This thing is more delicate than Lauren Bacall before she died. And like Lauren, there is just so much grace and beauty in this thang. And then what’s best, you get a little Joan Crawford bite in the end from the beautifully layered, subtle heat. Why am I still here?

All I can say is get it, my children, get it good!

Jul 02, 2021
Photo of Peach63
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Peach63 from New York

Pours pitch Black with a 1 1/2" tan head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma is cocoa & vanilla right off. Also, caramel, cinnamon, roast malt.

Taste is cocoa, vanilla, hot pepper, cinnamon, caramel, roast malt.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Thick, oily finish with lingering habanero burn.

This is one hot, tasty stout. Outstanding!

Jun 26, 2021
Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by ThisWangsChung from Maryland

Pours a very dark, almost black color with a finger worth of tan-colored head. The aroma really brings the cocoa and vanilla, along with cinnamon, as well as a sturdy roasted base. Cinnamon is incredibly well-integrated here, and a subtle heat is noticed. The usage of habanero peppers (compared with, say, ancho, guajillo, or jalapeno) is unique, and seems to give just a hair more aromatic bite next to other Mexican hot chocolate stouts. It manages to be desserty without being overbearing. The flavor profile reveals more cinnamon and a little more pepper than the nose indicated. The base beer provides a canvas of roasted malts, tobacco, and licorice. Habanero peppers don't overpower or clash like I initially feared, nor is it as overly sweet as I feared. Chocolate and vanilla are subtle (but palpable) elements that help balance the deep roast, while the habanero slowly but surely builds on the finish. While not the most substantial-feeling imperial stout I've ever drank, the texture is still fairly thick yet creamy. It's not oily or slick like a porter, it's actually surprisingly dry. Dry enough to go down far too easily for a monster stout over 10%! This stuff is excellent, period. It never overdoes any one element (really easy to do with a Mexican hot chocolate stout), yet provides the big, bold experience I expected. Well worth seeking out.

Jun 21, 2021
4 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on Jun 14, 2021
4.5 by aucanuck from Georgia on Jun 13, 2021
4.72 by Hoptometrist from Ohio on Jun 10, 2021
4.02 by Ristaccia from Nebraska on May 10, 2021
4.35 by GaryM6 from New York on Jan 28, 2021
4.66 by commanchetruck from New Hampshire on Jan 19, 2021
4.5 by EMV from Pennsylvania on Nov 30, 2020
Photo of NYNorseman
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by NYNorseman from New York

Westbrook is a very good brewery and Mexican Cake is an excellent stout. This beer is much thinner than I thought it would be but it still produces a a robust mouthfeel due to the kick of the habanero peppers. It produces a slight tang up front and a slow, soft burn as you swallow it. The cinnamon is nicely balanced against the cocoa nibs. I picked up a bomber on sale from our local beer store and this was worth every penny. South Carolina is home to Myrtle Beach, Westbrook Brewing and Lindsay Graham. Two out of three ain't bad!!!

Nov 08, 2020
Photo of NiceTaps
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NiceTaps from New Jersey

22 ounce bomber poured into a totally inappropriate vessel; a clear plastic shaker cup.

Opaque jet black colored liquid with malted milk froth on top. The 1-plus F cap holds up and manages to leave a hearty ring of lacing in the plastic cup before tapering to a thick film.

Cinnamon and sugar, Scoville units, dark cocoa, vanilla .

Chili spiked dark chocolate with some cinnamon. A touch of sweet vanilla and dark fruit, like plum.

Equal parts of smooth drinkability and stout sturdiness. Liquid cocoa with a hit from the chilis on the taste buds.

An imperial stout, indeed. The label's claims are accurate about flavor and style.

Oct 30, 2020
Photo of rex_4539
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by rex_4539 from Greece

L: Jet black color, one finger brown head, incredible thin lacing, no visible carbonation. As good as it gets.

S: Chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, alcohol. Nice!

T: Chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, spicy. Delicious!

F: Light bodied (surprisingly!) but full flavored and dangerously drinkable.

O: World class imperial stout, no doubt.

Sep 27, 2020
4.25 by Bbock13 from North Carolina on Sep 25, 2020
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by titty_mcbitty from Tennessee

A: Pours pitch black with a swirly khaki head on top. Lacing on the sides after swishing it around.

S: The cinnamon comes through in the aroma, as does the vanilla.

T: Sweet, rich brownie batter, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cacao, and just the right amount of habanero. Slight bitterness throughout, yet sweetness carries through as well. Wow, great job Westbrook.

M/F: Thick and velvety, very very smooth as it goes down. Cinnamon, chocolate, and habanero linger in the throat and tongue.

O: This is a wonderful beer that does not lie about the flavors. All of them show up here and meld very well together. This is a top-tier stout, and if they haven't already they should barrel age it!

Sep 09, 2020
4.21 by tux_alin from Romania on Sep 03, 2020
Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 3041 ratings