Mexican Cake | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Mexican CakeMexican Cake

Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Netdigger2 on 02-01-2012

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Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 2,692
Photo of Amguerra305
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours slightly less than motor oil thick and leaves an inch of dark khaki head that quickly dissipated and leaves a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The smell is pretty divine with strong vanilla notes. A bit of roast as well and a slight bit of booze. The combination of the chocolate and vanilla actually gives it a slightly woody smell. The taste does not live up to the smell unfortunately. All the flavors are kind of muted. You definitely get chocolate and not much cinnamon. The cinnamon adds more sweetness than actual cinnamon flavor. There is only the slightest touch of heat; you get more pepper flavor than heat. My biggest gripe with this beer is in the mouthfeel. Even though it poured thick, it feels thin, almost watery. Overall this beer is really good but with more body it would be approaching great.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2016.
Pours opaque black with a thin beige head that quickly disappears completely and leaves no lace. The smell is of cinnamon, oak and chilli peppers. The taste follows with cocoa, cinnamon, habañero and vanilla. Medium texture with medium carbonation.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.76/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out dark brown and black, equal parts, 1/2" tan head on the top, maybe as low as 2/5". Aroma of chocolate, roast. I didn't really pull cinnamon out of this one. Very mild pepper aspect.

Taste, now some of the adjuncts are coming out. Vanilla, peppers and cinnamon, none of which dominate, even though chocolate is the first among equals I guess. A slight bitterness from the roasting, and moderate hop usage. The mouth feel is where this beer is strongest, it hides the alcohol well, it has a substantial bragging right about 'balance' between everything.

Its a good beer. Is it worth the price of admission? Depends on how much you value your time. I'd buy at retail, wouldn't wait in line. Anything secondary, trading or value, GFY.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had 11/22/16 at The Well, Brooklyn. Another stout I have been waiting to have for years and it's worth the wait! Perfectly balanced flavors, love a stout with cinnamon and chilis in it if done right. I can't decide if this is better than Abraxas but you cannot go wrong with either. The stout had tons of flavor, nice smell of cinnamon, peppers, and chocolate, and great feel. Try it if you can.

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Photo of efrankmcguire
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simple...For this year, Mexican Cake > Abraxas > Huna. While all 3 are excellent examples of the "Mexican-spiced" variety, Cake was actually a very well balanced beer. Great flavor, good mouth-feel, and just the right amount of heat.

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Photo of 911CROFT
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650ml bottle into a Spiegleau Stout glass. Paid £16.75 for a single.

Pours a completely opaque, dark black body, that when held to the light allows some ruby glimmers to be observed near the edges of the glass. A thin, bubbly, one-finger in height, dark tan coloured head reduces to a thin cap and collar, leaving behind minuscule specs of soapy lace.

The subtle nose predominantly comprises of lightly roasted dark malts and bittersweet chocolate. Underneath impressions of smoke and char become apparent after warming, and once revealed remain in the background throughout. Cinnamon and vanilla additions are particularly evident, however habanero peppers are faintly perceptible at best and only really found when specifically searched for. On the end, hints of rum-like alcohol compliment the sweet and spicy aroma. Taste follows suit, adding increased complexity throughout. Dark roasted malts, semi-sweet baking chocolate, earthy cocoa, and hints of smoke capture an incredibly rich and robust roast profile upfront, whilst avoiding burnt and ashy characters, but retaining impressive intensity. Mid palate, cinnamon and vanilla join light brown sugar to provide a subtle sweetness, lingering long enough to soften the introduction of habanero peppers towards the finish. In the mouth, a medium to full body paired with minimal carbonation starts slick, smooth, and just a little sticky. Towards the back end, returning dark roasted malts, bitter cocoa, espresso, char and smoke blend seamlessly with lingering chili, vanilla and cinnamon to build a smooth, lengthy, bittersweet-spicy finish alongside a pleasant trace of warming heat. After the swallow, sharp dark roast, cinnamon, habanero spice and subtle rum-like alcohol linger for an age to somehow finish slightly crisp, astringent and chalky but also with satiating oily richness.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Rich, robust and complex, it harmoniously integrates delicate chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and chili additions with a base stout easily good enough to stand on its own. Perhaps the habanero profiles could be a little more pronounced, but ultimately subtlety and balance are key here to success. Recommended.

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Photo of seedyone
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at home. Rich flavors. That's what I come away with here.

I had an Evil Twin collaboration Biscotti Cake Break on tap a few days ago & thought that was what I had at home. I was wrong, but in a good way.

The Biscotti Cake Break was tasty but muddled. I was left with a feeling like I had seen the beginning & end of a movie, but missed the middle.

Not so with this. All the characters showed up. The chocolate is big. Starts big, stays big & ends big. The fascinating thing is during each mouthful, different character shows up at different times. Chocolate with Vanilla, then cinnamon arrives, then it's more chocolate but a bigger, darker chocolate & the finish has just a hint of the heat. Really complex & really interesting & very, very good.

As with all works of this nature, if at first your not impressed, let it warm a bit. You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of BeantownBrews
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a beautiful tan head that fades leaving minimal lacing
Smells of cinnamon, peppers and a bit of sweetness that reminds me of apple pie almost
Taste is sweet upfront with loads of cinnamon flavor, the pepper sneaks in a bit a the end with a slight bite
A tad thin with moderate mouthcoating
Overall worth seeking out for sure

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Photo of Marius
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

65cl bottle shared at home. Pitch black pour with a medium height espresso head. Aroma includes cherries, sherry, roasted malts. Tastes like vanilla chocolate, cinnamon, cocoa, dark cherries, licorice, peppers and light chillies in the finish, just enough to warm the throat. Full bodied, very low carbonation and a chocolatey bitter-sweet finish.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with dark chocolate highlights. Dark, dark khaki head is a solid 2 fingers and very thick and creamy looking. Good retention and very nice lacing. As pretty of a stout as I've ever seen.

Strong chili pepper aroma. Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and a touch of espresso. Nice complementary vanilla. Cinnamon comes through as it warms.

Heat from the peppers right away. Roasted malt, a bit bitter and with a bit of char. Cinnamon is stronger than what the nose would lead you to expect. Dark chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Getting a bit of licorice and smoke at the end.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Lots of heat from the peppers. Mild bitterness.

Great beer with lots of heat. Spicier than both Huna or Abraxas. Flavors really blend nicely.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours thick black with this mocha colored head spotty lacing around the glass.

Aroma - Cinnamon, dark chocolate, Vanilla, little bit of spice from the peppers.

Taste - Cinnamon, dark chocolate cake batter, peppers, vanilla, maybe a hint of coffee.

Feel - Thick creamy feel, little but of burn from the peppers, coats the mouth.

Overall - This is an excellent beer, from the aroma of the spices and chocolate to the liquid cake like taste and feel. I love this beer.

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Photo of Prager62
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bomber dated 5/20/16 recently received in a BIF poured in a Prairie snifter for the review.

Look- Pours a thick black used motor oil color with a trace amount of light brown foam. It forms a thin ring around the glass leaving no lacing behind.

Smell- Chocolate cake batter, cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and earthy peppers.

Taste- The cinnamon hits first followed by dark chocolate and a little vanilla. The habanero peppers are quite sneaky and appear in the finish.

Feel- Semi thick and oily with mouth tingling heat that starts slowly and builds as you take more sips.

Overall- I'm a big fan of the style and this was a huge want that did not disappoint. Thick body, huge chocolate and spice flavor with a solid but not overwhelming shot of heat from the habanero peppers. It's literally a liquid Mexican cake dessert! I want more and can only imagine what the barrel aged version tastes like?

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Near black...can't see through it. Small but luscious brown head with tight and pillowy carbonation. Beautiful.
S: Lots of vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon and chile...almost dairy...smells like the best dessert you've never had.
T: Very similar to the nose but with more cocao and spice, less vanilla. A little ethanol but somehow it's not annoying or gets in the way of the other flavors. Almost like a spiced alcoholic drink at Christmas.
M: Like velvet with a kick.
O: I've been stoked to try this beer for quite some time now and it's completely lived up to the hype. I'm very picky about my stouts and this one knocks it out of the park for nearly every aspect I look for. Drinkable yet heavy, big yet delicate. Sounds Steve Douchy I know, but it's really damned good.

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Photo of Angerhaus
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Busy stout with a lot of delicious things happening all at once. At first I thought I was confused, but then I realized it was just a good beer making my mouth happy.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with a half pinky khaki head. Aroma- chocolate, vanilla icing, cinnamon, cherry. Taste- cinnamon up fromt and in the back. Some spiciness in the back like a hot red candy. Vanilla and chocolate up front. Feels silky smooth. Overall. Cinnamon bomb in the back. But before you get there it is one of the best tasting stouts I've had.

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Photo of floyd_pugman
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Crooked Stave snifter. Nose is mostly cinnamon and green chili with hints of vanilla and only mild heat. Palate is rich with caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, and green chili, hitting the palate in that order. Finishes with rich chocolate fudge that lingers forever. Nice combination of flavors, but nothing I'm inclined to chase.

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Photo of larryi86
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to richj1970 for this
22 oz bottle, dated 5/20/16, poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a two finger deep mocha head.

S- Fudge, cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon, hints of peppers, some roasted coffee.

T- Cocoa nibs, lots of vanilla and cinnamon, dark chocolate, some spicy peppers, hints of roasted coffee.

M- Smooth, thick, full body.

O- A great stout, vanilla and cinnamon taste great. My only "issue" with this is that the peppers aren't as spicy as I hoped they would be. Truly worth seeking out!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml brown glass bottle. $21 per 22 fl oz bottle.

10.50% ABV. "Imperial Stout." "Malt beverage with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, and habanero peppers added." The bottled on field reads only "516."

HEAD: None. Only a dark floater ring. No lacing.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Looks like any pretty good but not unique imperial stout.

AROMA: Cinnamon spice, subtle vinegary habanero chili pepper, chocolate specialty malt, dark malts, cacao nibs, a vague vanilla note (not genuine vanilla bean, but something flirting with that), nougat, fudge, Hershey's syrup.

Aromatic intensity is mild to moderate. I detect no overt hop notes, yeast notes, off-notes, or alcohol.

TASTE: Hits on chocolate and vinegary chili pepper, providing mild chili heat without overdoing it. Hints of rich Hershey's chocolate syrup. Richly sweet chocolate malts, a heavy presence of sweet dark malts, spicy cinnamon. Yes, the subtle Chile heat balances out the malt sweetness nicely, but it's not ideally dialed in.

Sweetness is well checked by the habanero, but the cacao flavour is nice. I don't find any roasted barley or coffee.

Duration and intensity of flavour are nice.

TEXTURE: Flirts with a syrupy texture to perfect extent, coming off sticky to just the right degree whilst maintaining an apt thickness and medium to full body. Well-carbonated. Unrefreshing (obviously). Smooth and wet. A more powdery, creamy, soft mouthfeel might serve it well.

OVERALL: I hoped for a world class beer given the reputation this has, and in that respect I was perhaps a bit disappointed. But damn if it doesn't have some really lovely elements that force me to question my initial underwhelmed impression.

I don't find it dazzling or incredible, but there's a great deal here to enjoy and I wouldn't shy away from trying it again.

Competent fare from a talented brewery.


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Photo of raynmoon
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fudgy, doughy, heat comes through nicely. However, I do not get much cinnamon. This was bottled 4 months ago, but I remember this beer being much more cinnamon forward.

Mouthfeel is nice, creamy.

Overall, a really nice beer, but nothing I would jump out of my way to get. A barrel aged version of this would probably be killer.

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Photo of spacebear09
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not bad, but after 4 years of searching for this beer it was a huge letdown. Has a strange sour milk not to it that I can't quite put my finger on. Can say hands down I prefer common findings like Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and Xocoveza over this. I am disappoint.

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Photo of cbutova
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks as always Sonny.

A- Bomber into the mini glass with a motor oil black body and a deep nutty tan head. The cap is frothy rising up to half a finger before falling down to a small ring at the edges. Decent head retention and rare spotty lace.

S- The dusty cocoa nibs lead the aroma with a large dose of the roasty vegetable skin from the peppers. Coffee comes in next with plenty of woody, earthy cinnamon. Vanilla sweets and a large base of deeply roasted but smooth dark barley.

T- Takes on much more of a chocolate milk feel here with that classic Hershey chocolate flavor forming the backbone of the beer. Next coming out mostly equally is the woody spicy cinnamon, a touch of habanero heat, medium roast coffee, vanilla bean dessert sweets and some caramel. The grains are very much present with charred barley and a coffeehouse roast feeling.

MF- Silky and creamy body with moderately high fluffy carbonation. A tad slick and certainly somewhat chewy. Ends with a slow rising pepper heat and some alcohol warming.

A Mexican cake or more like a hot chocolate in a bomber. The elements are all well balanced with spicy cinnamon and cocoa taking a slight edge.

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Photo of Pontzie
4.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An all time favorite. I wish this were easier to get on a more regular basis.

L: Pours an viscous inky black. Almost as thick as motor oil. Almost no head at all.
S: Smells like quality coffee and some chocolate and pepper
T: Really smooth for as dark as it appears. Strong coffee flavors. Really really pleasing blend of alcohol that hides in the chocolate and coffee flavors.
F: Just like a world class stout should feel: Solid, almost chewable, very little carbonation but enough to keep this beer just light enough to be extremely drinkable.
O: Instantly an all time favorite. This is probably the best executed stout that I have ever had.

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Photo of josanguapo
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From Beergium. In Teku glass. Watching Los Soprano 1x10.Perfectly balanced. The peppers touch is soft and adds taste. Vanilla pretty noticeable. Alcohol completely hidden. Wish it were cheaper and easily obtainable

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great looking beer, dated 3/20/16.
Aromas of cinnamon sugar, cold brew coffee, vanilla, leather, burnt malts coming through. Very roasty and sweet.
On the palate is super smooth coffee, cocoa, and gooey chocolatey cinnamon brownies up front, followed by dark malts, roasted nuttiness, vanilla, oak, really pleasant touch of spicy heat on the finish.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side but honestly it coats quite well and there is an impressive length on the finish, roasty and sweet flavors lingering followed by some heat from cinnamon and peppers. Very chewy and complex. Overall this one is basically perfect in terms of balance between decadent sweetness, dark roasty notes, and pleasant touch of spice…. Cinnamon is a game changer on this in my opinion. Really well done!

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: pours thick and black. No light in the glass, a dark brown head. I like my stouts to pour like used motor oil.
S: chilies, cinnamon and dark chocolate. I love that I can smell all three
T: chilies and cinnamon upfront, then the chocolate comes in for balance. It then finishes with huge chile heat. A bit too much heat in end for me.
F: thick, so smooth. Velvet feel. I just wish the flavors lingered longer to balance the chilies
O: this is a clear third to huna and abraxas. But a even bigger step back from ba bourbon Mexican cake. The bourbon balances the chilies out and it almost perfect. Skip this one and just get the bourbon version.

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
4.38 out of 5 based on 2,692 ratings.
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