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Mexican Cake | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Mexican CakeMexican Cake

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

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 300 | Ratings: 2,536
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle.

I've got to admire a beer that looks like this. Frothy, thick and creamy head a couple fingers thick that sits majestically like a ring of clouds over a mountain. The dark khaki color provides a perfect contrast to the pitch black liquid that when poured into the glass flowed thick as oil. Magnificent. 5

Cocoa dominates the nose initially, but a faint medley of cinnamon, vanilla and chile provide an intriguing backdrop. Dark roast malts round out the aroma and provide a deeper flavor. It's pleasant but also seems to either faded or restrained. 4

A few sips tell me the palate on this is much less restrained. First off, the chile flavor figures much more prominently here, offering a piquant bite. Chocolate and vanilla interplay around the chile suggesting a spicy Mexican hot chocolate. Baker's chocolate lingers on the finish and gives me a good reason to space out my sips and enjoy this. As I do, the beer warms up and becomes even more great. Caramel pushes to the forefront and adds to the mix of flavors that make this live up to its name. 4.5

The beer is still a tad hot, but otherwise it's as creamy and rich as any beer you can find. The taste and feel are very similar to so many of the big stouts from Evil Twin and it's clear the influence/collaboration works it's way into beers that they brew individually. There's a obvious bite to this, obviously from the chile but also from the hops. The hops also give a bit of bitterness at the finish. 4.25

2 summers back I visited Torst and this beer blew my mind on tap. I've been dreaming of it ever since. It doesn't disappoint. Delicious.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

A - black, no clarity, 2 fingers of brown head

A - cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg
T - sweet up front, cinnamon and spices,
M - full bodied, well carbonated
O - Amazing spicy stout. Cinnamon and nutmeg, cocoa. Well played Westbrook, well played

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Photo of SteveB24
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a mud brown color, with a finger of brown, creamy foam that retains well, stream of bubbles visible in the beer. Aroma is rich, consisting of coffee, mild chocolate and the peppers are there. The flavor consists of coffee, hints of dark chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla smooth the bitterness from the chocolate and coffee and then the chili hits you like a ton of bricks. The 10.5 ABV is completely undetectable.
While the chili was a bit much for my taste the beer is complex and very, very tasty. a very unique and very positive beer experience.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks a million, Shannon!

A: The blackest of blacks. Not much head. Limited lacing. Like oil in a glass. Viscous.

S: Cocoa and vanilla come on strong. Very slight habanero.

T: A beast of a beer. Dark chocolate, cocoa nibs and vanilla start out, with a habenero heat on the finish that doesn't overwhelm. This one's a sipper. Gets better and better as it warms.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

O: A great one to share with friends. Sip slowly and be overwhelmed. One of the top 5 beers I've had this year. Magnificent.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

I was surprised how good this was for the style. Big upfront cinnamon flavor that mellows into a smooth vanilla taste with a decent amount of pepper burn at the end. Impressed!

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Photo of TWStandley
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%

Poured into a snifter.

Appeared a dark brown color with minimal head.

Smelled amazing - cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate and slight alcohol on the nose.

Taste was awesome as well. Love the cinnamon presence - tastes a bit like Huna.

Mouthfeel was a bit light but the peppers elevated it with some heat on the back of the throat.

Overall a delicious treat and one I hope to have again.

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Photo of Beer4B
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very fun stout to try. I knew it was aged on peppers but underestimated the "heat" that was present. Good, drinkable mouthfeel with a nice blend of cocoa, vanilla and peppers. The peppers started present and then flexed their muscles as it warmed. I recommend sharing the bottle (as I did) or having some Pepto available.

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Photo of Dope
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%

Bottling date is all smudged but I believe this says May 2014.

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall and dense dark brown head. Great legs and top-notch head retention. Substantial and thick lacing. Great appearance.

S: Immediate heavy roasted malt. Sort of a chalky, roasty, earthy aroma with lots of chocolate. I think the cinnamon and/or habaneros contribute as well. Sort of a sweet pepper aroma too. Hard to describe properly. It smells heavy though.

T: Now we're talking. Immediate chili peppers and heat mixed with lots of bittersweet chocolate up front. A little vanilla, primarily right at the beginning. Again, quite chalky and grainy. I think it's from the cinnamon sticks. Lots of cinnamon and chili pepper throughout. A brief hit of pepper heat in the finish to go with some chocolate fudge and vanilla that lingers forever. That chalky, spicy and almost waxy at times, mouthfeel never really seems to fade. Like a dash of cinnamon left over in your mouth.

M: Heavy, thick, lower carbonation. Just the right amount of sweetness. Fairly chalky and practically grainy at points (an illusion, I realize).

O: One hell of a beer. It's pretty much as it's described. A proper stoneground mexican chocolate tends to be grainy, bittersweet and oftentimes has some sort of cinnamon and/or chili pepper spice. This is liquid mexican chocolate. Great flavors and balance, great complexity, great strength. Just works nicely. Barrel aging this would probably put it over the top but this is great as-is.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%

Had on tap at the Liberty Taphouse in Columbia, SC on Friday. Small snifter arrived at the table, black body, light tan head. For some reason, this beer was not on my wish list for the weekend, but Oh my am I glad I found it.

From the first mouthful I was hooked, a delicious sweet chocolately wash comes over the tongue, and by the time I let it get to the back of the mouth, there was the slight burn from the pepper and roasted malts. Some vanilla and dried fruit tones on the tongue. Over the 30-40 minutes I took getting through this one, the heat gradually grew in the back of the mouth, while the to tongue kept the sweet tones of milk & chocolate. Damn fine beer indeed.

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Photo of sommersb
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Tasted On: 08-20-2014
Freshness: Bottled on 05-22-2014
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Liquor Express, Huntsville AL

A: Black and opaque beer showing a tall dark tan head. The lacing and retention are both good.

S: Fantastic smells of chocolate, sweet malts, coffee and a hint of spicy peppers.

T: Wow, the taste is an incredible mix of chocolate and habanero peppers, plus roasted malts typical to a stout. The pepper is just right and does not overpower. I also get warmth from both the alcohol and the peppers.

M: Low in carbonation, with a full body. The finish is bittersweet with a good dose of hot peppers.

O: An excellent mixture of the sweet and hot elements; highly recommended!

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Very tasty beer, and while the heat from the chili peppers is noticeable, the dark chocolate, cinnamon, light vanilla and coffee are more than enough to handle it. A very delicious beer, and one I was very happy to have the opportunity to try.

Still tasted very fresh after being in the growler for several weeks.

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Photo of mr_g00dkat
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pitch black with chocolaty brown head

S: Chocolate, and a lot of it. An incredible amount in fact followed by a bit of cinnamon spice.

T: Ah, yes the taste. Tons of chocolate, cinnamon a touch of vanilla followed by a nice spicy & lingering pepper burn.

M: Very good, but misses the boat a bit on body, could be a bit thicker but not super thin.

O: I had very low expectations for this beer based on all of the hype surrounding it. But I have to be honest, I was blown away by this one. Its a damn good stout and I will be searching out another bottle or two.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small draft pour at Tørst

Black with a thick brown head that sticks around nicely and leaves some lace.

Nose is a little lacking compared to the flavor. Could be glasses. A little sweet cinnamon and chocolatey. Pepper skin.

Robust flavor full of chile/heat, roasty coffee, cinnamon, chocolate and a touch of sweetness buried behind the omnipresent chile.

Smooth and creamy.

So many of these beers now it seems. The local Dallas take on this, Mole Temptress, is just as good to me.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage, drank six days after bottling date. Poured dark black with good head retention. I felt like the peppers overpowered the beer and it was not very balanced.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into stemless wine glasses (all we had)

A- Dark black with thin tan head. No light passing through this stout!
S- Coco and vanilla with roasted malt
T- I get the coco nibs followed by the sweet vanilla. No cinnaman or peppers. The peppers come in on heat on the back end. A pleasent heat. I was worried I wouldn't dig the use of peppers, but they did awesome with it.
M- Smooth and creamy... great!

O- Very enjoyable "mayan stout". The coco nibs give it a bit of grittiness. The vanilla works really well. The pepper played the perfect role. Boom! Delicious.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1805th Review on BA
Bottle to Westbrook Snulip
Bottled 5/28/14

Thanks to Ryan for this one

App- This was a very black and dark and thick stout from the word pour. A bit like chocolate coming out of a double boiler. Just darker. A nice one finger head that was dark tan and bordered on brown hug out for a while and left some scattered cling.

Smell- On a big whiff, I mostly get the cocoa and the cinnamon. Very heavy on the spice aroma. Either being from cinnamon and additives to the peppers. The heat doesnt sting but does let you know its there. A bit of creamy chocolate comes to the party once it warms up a bit.

Taste- This is all over the place for me, I get sweet, savory, spice, heat. On a first sip its a bit of that fresh double boiler chocolate and moves to the spice of the habaneros. The warming brings the cinnamon and a bit of the vanilla. I would love a bit more vanilla on this one to balance. I am sure the BA version would amp this one for sure. I enjoy the heat. Its still a stout, but comes with a kick to say the least.

Mouth- A big medium body with a almost creamy feel to it. As I sip on this one, the carbonation smooths out and is a little less prickly and moves to a creaminess to it. The residual flavors are cinnamon and heat. A little chocolate comes through.

Drink- I am really digging this one. I was surprised to even land a bottle. Never thought I would tick it! I would love to try the BA versions I am sure they are devine.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/22/14, poured into a teku glass

A- pours a thick & oily pitch black color with a small creamy dark tan head that reduces to a ring around the glass, short lasting lace left behind

S- the base stout consists of some smoky/charred malt with sweet dark chocolate. As it warms, some of the spices come out; cinnamon & nutmeg, cocoa powder, burnt brown sugar, coffee, a hint of vanilla and a slight singe of habanero

T- sweet and chocolaty cocoa up front that actually tastes very similar to chocolate icing, perhaps enhanced by the addition of the vanilla. Mid-palate, the cinnamon kicks in, which seems to also enhance the chocolate flavor, giving it a very fudge-like flavor. The heat of the habanero can be felt throughout, but it doesn't overpower the other spices.

M- heavy and thick body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel with a creamy smooth finish, lingering habanero burn lasts on the throat long after drinking

O- this had much more heat than expected, especially on the linger. It worked well with the other flavors though. Really liked the chocolaty fudge icing flavor as well. Compared to Hunaphu, this one is hotter and more chocolaty, Hunaphu has more emphasis on the other spices. Slight edge in flavor to Hunaphu, but overall this was a unique beer that I really enjoyed

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Founders KBS goblet. Date of review is 7/23/14.

Appearance- One of the best looking beers I have ever seen. A vigorous pour results in a 3/4 inch SUPER creamy cardboard brown head. Lacing seems to be spectacular right out of the fridge.

Smell- I get roasted malt right away. I would argue cinnamon is the next scent followed by vanilla, hot peppers and chocolate. This is quite a unique smelling beer.

Taste- Wow, chocolate and coconut almost knock me out in a fantastic kind of way. I also get smooth creamy vanilla and the heat from the peppers. Cinnamon is taking a backseat in the flavor for sure.

Mouthfeel- Just about as close to perfect as a beer can get. Super creamy vanilla makes you think this is a milk stout, then BAM, hot peppers. Makes your throat tingle long after you swallow and I LOVE it.

Overall- Such a great beer! I am usually a barrel-aged snob, but this beer is perfect how it is. I cannot even imagine trying the apple brandy version, I just might die.

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Photo of Mexicanhat
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell is amazing. Chocolate, roasted malt and peppers. Taste is much the same, actually very spicy on the back end, but in a good way. The feel is slick and medium bodied with good carbonation. Cinnamon is realllll

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 review (had 2014), picked up 22 oz bomber in Charleston. Poured into snifter.
A: pitch reddish black body, dark chocolate foam head that fades out quickly
S: heavy chocolate aroma, wiffs of sweet vanilla and cinnamon, some booziness add it warms.
M: medium heavy body with a thin syrup feel on the tongue
T: coca nibs, espresso, vanilla bean, cinnamon, slight sweetness leads you to think cake batter along with the vanilla, very silky smooth, heat and flavor from the habaneros come through closer to the finish with lots of pepper flavor and some heat, not over powering, some booziness as it warms up but hey it's 10.5% abv.
O: really nice to sample this in small amounts and enjoy or as burbon drinkers say chew on.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter. The liquid is super black, and the pour kicks up a one-finger dark brown head on the pour that fades after about thirty seconds down to a nice dark brown film over the surface of the beer and leaves a little bit of lace.

Aroma is chocolate malts, a little bit of roasty coffee, some caramel and brown sugar, and just a hint of capsaicin spiciness that I probably wouldn't notice if I didn't know it was there. Not a big or strong aroma, but what's there does smell nice.

Tastes starts out with semi-dark chocolate and a hint of smokiness, along with some nice roasty character that's not too charred. Then the pepper comes in mid-palate, and kind of sneaks up on you - it doesn't taste super spicy at first, but gets spicier as you let it rest in your mouth, and becomes the dominant note, mixing really well with the chocolate and smoke. The aftertaste is weirdly thick, and tastes like chocolate cake with peppers enjoyed next to a campfire. The peppers leave a little bit of a lingering heat in your mouth. The heat and the little bit of roasty bitterness work perfectly against the chocolate to keep this from being too sweet or cloying on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick, almost syrupy, with a just a little bit of actual carbonation, but the heat makes it seem like more carbonation than it actually is.

Overall, this is definitely my favorite of the handful of chili-pepper stouts I've had - it has the exactly perfect amount of roast, smoke, sweetness, bitterness, and spiciness, and they all compliment each other really well. Really, really great.

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Photo of wedge
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

@ Closed for Business

Black with a short tan head that drops to a super creamy ring and wispy surface covering. Attractive webby lacing coats the glass. Aromas of cinnamon, dark fruits, light chili pepper, vanilla bean, a black malt edge, and some dark, crumbly chocolate that lends a certain “cakiness” to the whole thing. I’m fairly sensitive to cinnamon in beer and Westbrook pulls off the spice addition admirably, keeping it just prominent enough to blend with the pepper and chocolate. Big, malty flavor with a spicy twist: cocoa, subtle vanilla, cinnamon, increasing milk chocolate as it warms, and a mild, late peppery heat that lingers just a bit. Body is medium-full, super creamy, and slick without any alcohol whatsoever.

I was much more impressed with this second Mexican Cake experience. Last year I didn’t quite get the hype for whatever reason, but this is an excellent stout that takes all of the adjunct elements and melds them together beautifully to create a big and malty – yet surprisingly easy drinking – imperial stout.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with stillmatic2232.

Pours a very dark black, with a small half inch head that descends down into an oily film, with a little bit of lacing.

Smells like dark roasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon, and vegetal pepper.

Luckily the pepper flavor is less vegetal than the pepper aroma. This is beer gets a lot better as it warms up, but unfortunately, doesn't seem to compare to the other big 3 "Mexican-style" stouts- Bomb, Huna, and Abraxas. The roasted malt is much more up-front than I expected, with some decent bitterness. A lot less sweet than I figured- fairly bitter, especially with the bitter dark chocolate flavors as well. There's a bit of cinnamon, but not overwhelming, with basically no vanilla flavor. The habanero flavor builds up slowly, but isn't overpowering. Your lips do tingle once you're done with your glass. I like how Mexican Cake differs itself from other beers of the style- it's much less sweet and more bitter than its counterparts, and it tastes great, but it seems to lack the magic that the others have.

Medium bodied, could be a little thicker, I suppose. Creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable, even with the hot pepper flavors.

This one was pretty good, but not up to the level of the other big stouts in this category.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hop City in Birmingham. What a pleasant surprise!

A: Pitch black with a thin cap of tan foam that settles into a ring and leaves spotty lace. Pretty solid.

S: Intense chilis, dark chocolate, and that's about it. Very straightforward and enjoyable, but not particularly complex.

T: Follows the nose. Rich, decadent dark chocolate fudginess ahead of pure pepper heat. The spiciness is dialed in nicely, as it's prominent without being overbearing. The chocolate and chili go great together.

M: Moderately thick and creamy. Quite nice.

O: Excellent beer, but I'm not sure it's worth the hype. I liked it about as much as Bomb, but significantly less than Abraxas and Hunahpu's. Great brews all, but I won't be trading for this one. I can definitely see how it could do well in a barrel, though…


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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of thick head that begins the color of burnt sienna but eventually turns tan as it recedes into a light blanket at the meniscus.

S: Vanilla, cinnamon, bakers chocolate, some nutmeg, charred malts. Pepper notes are present towards the tail end, and only after a hefty whiff.

T: Wow, fantastic! Smooth cinnamon hits first, followed by creamy vanilla, then the bite of the dark chocolate, and some nutmeggy flavors to round everything out. I can't really taste the pepper, but I can feel it upon swallowing, and it lingers in the throat. This one is super complex and very, very delicious.

M: Medium carbonation, and on the lighter-side-of-medium in terms of body, which suits the flavor profile of this beer perfectly, allowing the sweeter notes to dominate up front and the spiciness of the peppers to establish themselves in the finish. The mouthfeel is where I feel this one really shines, and while many would disagree with me, the lighter, but still-full-bodied mouthfeel is what makes Mexican Cake, for me, stand a pedestal higher than Huna.

O: This one is worth the hype and worth seeking out. This is my first Westbrook beer, and has established them as a brewery I will seek more offerings from... this is a total knockout!

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 300 ratings.
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