Mexican Cake | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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97
world-class
2,761 Ratings
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Mexican CakeMexican Cake
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,761
Reviews:
340
Avg:
4.39
pDev:
8.66%
 
 
Wants:
1,597
Gots:
621
For Trade:
62
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,761 |  Reviews: 340
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: large dark head on a jet black. No light getting through. some lacing.

S: sour lemon, espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, flour and dough.

T: very sweet with sour notes which dominate up front. Spicey, cinnamon, roasted malts, milk chocolate, vanilla and dark fruit, mostly cherries. a touch alcoholic. The pepper and spiciness dominates the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A very interesting and memorable beer. A little too sour and alcohol dominant but still very much worth experiencing.

 531 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa, and some subtle chile aromas. Taste is the same but the chile presence is very subtle flavor-wise. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but nothing all that special in my opinion.

 497 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Well, I have to confess that I now get the hype. I think that when first tasted I tried an older bottle. Yet another example of why fresher is better. Tried a relatively newer bottle and was simply blown away. I had graded it a "4" overall in my first tasting. This is a "re-evaluation."

Amazing color; nose and most of all taste and finish. Getting right to it, the flavors and amazingly apparent individually and yet the integration and balance is among the best I've ever tasted. There is just a hint of heat that highlights, not detracts. Yep, this is one that deserves the hype.

 592 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a really amazing beer, didnt think i would find one in a store on this first round to colorado, but i got lucky up in fort collins. its crazy beer, in the abraxas style, but very very different. the fresh habanero pepper instead of an ancho type makes a huge difference, you get that fleshy pulpy fresh pepper flavor in the beer without the smoky heat in the same way. inky black beer, very dense, heady, and intimidating as a night cap. the habanero flavor is really intense, but the heat is not, just warming in the throat and not lingering. im not a huge chili beer guy, and this is very very drinkable in terms of pepper influence. the cinnamon would be the next strongest of the additives, its spicy in own right, and works amazingly well with the bittersweet dark barley, ashy almost burnt, and thats where the desserty element comes from, the coffee notes in the malt with that cinnamon, its awesome. vanilla and cocoa do more highlighting and accenting as center staging, balancing sweet and bitter elements really well, and also bringing the most out of the malts. its like a cake batter, i see that in the base beer very much, the additives take it to the next lever, crazy really how flavorful this is. its also just so smooth and silky drinking, like the frosting that might be on such a cake. i thought this might be too much pepper for my palate, but i think its right on with the other flavors in here. gets boozy and a little sweet as it warms, but this is a really special beer. make sure you have a partner in crime who you can share this one with, a whole bomber is a serious task!

 1,600 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a very thick looking black color with a very dense brown head on top. The retention is long lasting and the lacing is pretty impressive also. The smell of the beer is chocolaty and roasted, not much pepper on there nose though. The taste is very rich, it's very roasted and had a good amount of chocolate in there. The vanilla is hidden and the peppers come out subtly in the finish. The mouthfeel is oily, very thick and smooth. There is a light carbonation to it this also. Overall it's a very good beer, well worth the time and money in my opinion to get this one.

 586 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cantebury Ales, Oyster Bay, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a thin layer of bubbles around the collar.
S: Moderate aromas of cocoa nibs and vanilla beans are present in the nose along with notes of spicy chili peppers.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of chocolate, cocoa nibs, and vanilla. It quickly transitions to spicy cinnamon followed by habanero peppers, the latter of which linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting contrast between the cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and habanero peppers. The spiciness increases a bit as it warms up, but it isn't overly hot and does a good job masking most of its alcohol. Once fully warmed up, the chocolate and vanilla become stronger.

Serving type: on-tap

 920 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with cake? When you are a brewery, it's done with a birthday cake-flavored beer! At least that's the intent of Westbrook as they turn a ripe old age of 1 earlier this year.

With a bold chocolaty appearance, the dark brown (almost black) ale settles with a viscous and creamy pour that causes for a slow separation of beer from foam. The moussey froth takes on a medium brown hue, shows sturdy retention, and laces well. A gentle swirl of the glass leaves inky legging on the glass that's reminiscent of brandy.

Strong chocolate notes sooth the sense of smell with a very dessert-like reaction. Met with background note of dark fruit, espresso, fudge, and rum, the malty rich beer pulls complexities from yeast, hops, and rich toffee-ish malt.

Strong chocolate and roast flavors begin with a heavy coat across the palate. Fudge-like sweetness is propelled by bittersweet chocolate, burnt toffee, espresso, and walnut oils. Secondary notes of vinous sherry wines offer a more succulent and fruity note that opens up a bready, savory taste. Rum-like alcohols offer a spicy sweetness that cuts through the malts and balances the sweetness in finish.

Certainly full bodied, the larger-than-life ale continues the fudge-like character with it thick and marshmallowy textures. Alcohol burn acts as a thinning agent and lessens the rich body just enough to savor the silky complexities to finish the beer. Shy of cloying, the roast of bitterness and heat signal closure, but allow the dessert-like nuances to linger indefinately.

Although it's Westbrook's birthday, I feel like I had gotten a gift in being able to try this luscious ale. The only thing that's missing is the candle.

 1,724 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

B- / WORTHY

 1,919 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives pitch black with a cap of espresso foam that curtains lace

Smell: Smoky chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon with a roasted chile undertone

Taste: Smoky chocolate and vanilla, up front, with the cinnamon flavors arriving just ahead of the habanero pepper; gets rather hot, after the swallow, when the brown sugar flavors arrive to moderate the heat

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is a really unique beer and another extraordinary ale from Westbrook

 507 characters

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate notes with roasted malt is pretty nice. Taste is a nice mix of roasted malt and black chocolate with some residual sugar notes, some cinnamon notes and some spicy peppers notes which really only become noticeable in the aftertaste. Body is quite full with nice creamy notes and good carbonation. Solid imperial stout thought spicy notes becomes a bit too much for my liking.

 512 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of mothman
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Black in color.

Roasted malts. The chili peppers don't show until the finish. The Cinammon and vanilla show in the finish as well. Everything good shows in the finish. Chocolate all around.

Medium to full bodied.

Solid beer, but I wish more showed up front.

 272 characters

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
4.39 out of 5 based on 2,761 ratings.
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