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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

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: 310 | Ratings: 2,589
Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nose reveals tons of cocoa and vanilla, with just a little bit of cinnamon. The first sips release lots of cocoa first, very smooth like milk chocolate, with notes of vanilla and cinnamon coming through shortly after in a fantastic harmony. The habanero heat comes in right on the finish, and I must say is the best use of peppers I've had in any beer to date. Nice habanero flavor and just the right kick of heat on your mouth and throat. Such a fantastic beer, really glad I got to try this whale on draft.

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Photo of Ski3PO
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the 2015 that was a few months old. Deep black color with not a whole lot of carbonation. On the nose, the chocolate is the only thing keeping the habanero and even cinnamon on a leash. Tasting hits in spice, chocolate, spice and finally chocolate again... yes, with lingering heat and some dryness from what seems to be the cinnamon. It has a thick, viscous mouthfeel. I will say that I've also had a tapped version of 2014 almost one year later, and indeed, a number of dimensions faded, but I thought the chocolate emerged fully dominant; it thickened and was like chocolate milk that was really heavy on the chocolate syrup.
Overall, out of the bottle, it's very bold on the chocolate, habanero and cinnamon. Vanilla helps the chocolate hold it together. Leans heavier on the habanero and cinnamon, though.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rating 2012 version. Aged for 3 years and 9 months. Smells like chocolate cake! Cocoa and Cola flavors dominate. Very subtle notes of cinnamon and pepper. Decent mouthfeel/thickness. Good. Will have to try fresher version for comparison.

Update: Had 2015 version with 6 months if aging. Definitely better fresh. Had more pepper spiciness and cinnamon flavor to it. Seemed a bit thinner and had less chocolate notes. Preferred this fresher bottle however.

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Photo of ThomasJ25
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Just had this last night. It was brewed in May of 2015. Poured into a Teku glass and shared with my Dad. Took the bottle out of the fridge about 25 minutes before I opened it. Poured dark, but not a ton of head. Also, the viscosity was thinner than I had expected.

Took a taste and immediately hit with chocolate. Subtle hints of vanilla and cinnamon, but definitely takes a back seat to chocolate which starts out at the beginning,and then the habanero peppers finish it with some serious heat and bitterness.

Overall, a great beer. Just wish it was easier to obtain as I would drink this more often.

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Photo of boothbeer
3.67/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to vicjr85 for sharing this with me. Coincidentally this was my 100th review. I am a big fan of the "mexican style" stout, and this was a beer I have been wanting to try for a long time. Unfortunately, it didn't compare to other stouts in the same category (Huna, Abraxas, etc.). This beer pours a thick black stout with nice head. Smells of chocolate, pepper, roasted malts. I get no cinnamon and no vanilla.
The biggest problem with this beer is the taste. I can tell that it has good base stout, but the habanero is unbelievable. It totally overtakes every other flavor. I can't taste anything other than chocolate and pepper. It actually started to make my stomach hurt. The pepper is too much. A little pepper goes a looooong way, espcially with habaneros. I wanted to love this beer, but I was greatly disappointed.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to review this one for a while after getting a taste at a bottle share. The beer is a beautiful pour into my snifter, with a thick and viscous appearance and a creamy, dark head forming as the beer swirls. The head is about 1.5 fingers in thickness and a really dark, chocolate color. It hangs around a while before it reduces to just a ring of dense foam on the edges, which end up leaving a pretty good amount of lacing. Time to take a sniff of this dark nectar. Huge chocolate that is well balanced between sweet and lightly bitter hits the nose first and is quickly chased by the habaneros. The peppers give the scent a good dose of the anticipated heat and spice, and are followed up by the cinnamon. The combination of the peppers and cinnamon give the beer a big, spicy presence that mixes all together with the sweeter notes of chocolate and vanilla and give the overall smell a delicious impression.

Taking a drink of this enticing smelling liquid, the first flavor that hits you is once again the chocolate. This time, the chocolate is a little bit sweeter than it was in the scent, and is accompanied by a touch of light vanilla sweetness as well before the habaneros make their presence known. The peppers hit in a spicy bang and then fade away for a bit, giving way to the cinnamon and rounding out the spiciness. The peppers make a strong and triumphant return at the very end of the drink with a big, spicy, and hot burn on the back of the tongue and down the throat. The lingering flavor is definitely the peppery heat, but also a touch of the cinnamon and chocolate. All during the drink, this beer is thick and smooth on the tongue, with a creaminess and little to no alcohol burn. Aside from the moderate pepper heat, this beer is insanely drinkable for the alcohol content.

Overall, this beer is probably my favorite among the Mexican chocolate stouts I have had. I really enjoy that peppers are strong, yet not distracting to the other flavors in the beer. The burn that the peppers add really add a unique and delicious quality that is unique to the beer. Basically, this beer confirms that I like my beer as spicy as I like my food.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to tulip.

A. Black, nice fine bubble amber head. Sort of thick.

S. Dominated by coffee and dark malt. Some chili pepper.

T. Very balanced and compkex. Notes of coffee, chili peppers, coffee with half and half, vanilla and toffee. A little bitterness.

M. Uber smooth, full body, moderate carbonation and thickness.

O. Very balanced and well crafted. Worth the hype. This is not extremely fresh so I feel the chili may have fallen off from a fresh pour. Ver very nice.

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

2015 bottle. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Westbrook oversize snifter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a jet black, opaque inky body with a deep brown 2 finger head that reduces slowly to leave a ring of brown retention, very little lacing but the color of the head and body are magnificent and deep in color.

Allowed it to warm up for ~30 minutes, as this is when the aromas started coming through. Big milk chocolate and vanilla, some cinnamon and a hint of peppers in the background, nice roastyness on the nose as well.

On the tongue is rich milk chocolate (chocolate cake almost!), coffee-like roasty notes, vanilla and caramel, followed by a toasted malt, charred character that lingers on the tongue for a while. The aftertaste has a little peppery bite to it, but it's subtle and adds a nice dimension. The mouthfeel is awesome, heavy, rich body with low carbonation, just how an imperial stout should feel.

Overall I'm very impressed, and I almost feel as this is underrated. I know it's hyped, but the hype is worth it and in my opinion it tops the other popular mexican style stouts (huna, abraxas)

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

This beer pours pitch black. Literally looks like oil coming out of the bottle. The habenaro gives it a kick after each sip, but to be honest I think the beer might have been better off without it. The cinnamon and vanilla flavor is delicious. This really does taste like cake albeit a cake with some peppers mixed in

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

Bottle into a high ball glass. Pitch cocoa brown near black. Nice 2 fingers of fluffy tan head. Smells of cocoa, vanilla, roasted malts, cinnamon and peppers. Taste is a rush of flavors of above with a hint of habernero peppers on the back end. As you drink a glass it gets more prominent. Very good. Not bitter. Complex but not as thick as I would like. For my money, Heir Apparent is nearly as good.

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Photo of eifster82
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Poured into a snifter, it is pitch black. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell - Robust, with cinnamon and cocoa beans, but pepper is probably most present..

Taste - Cinnamon and vanilla dominate. Not your usual IS.

Feel - Initially smooth, but chillies start kicking in toward back end... especially as the beer warms.

Overall - a different kind of stout. Great change of pace and very complex with it's many ingredients. Would love to have this from time to time.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a thick black color with dark brown head. Smells of dark chocolate, peppers, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla sweetness. Taste follows suit with a roast character. Taste is a bit more muted than I would have hoped, but still awesome. Nowhere near huna, buy probably better than xocoveza and maybe bomb!

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Photo of JFresh21
3.47/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has everything going for it, but the finish of the habanero peppers is too much. I love spicy food but this beer leaves an unpleasant sting in your mouth that washes away all the brilliant flavor. I traded for this and didn't even finish the bottle.

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Photo of MCCarrigan
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Everything in balance. Each adjunct is perceptible and contributes harmoniously. A total pleasure to drink. A true craft brew. Surpasses Abraxas IMO. I'd love to try the BA versions, but worry that some of the nuances that make it so delicious would get drown out. A must try for all stout fans.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely thrilled to finally be able to slay this personal whale of mine. Poured from a growler into a Sam Adams perfect pint. This beer is as black as night with no light getting through at all, perfectly fitting for the style. Head is brown, but quite small. Smell is amazing. Chocolate, roasted malt and habanero 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. Not boozy at all and overall this beer lives up to/exceeds the hype. Absolutely will seek this out again although it seems I got very lucky to score it in the first place.

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Photo of sittinggc
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer is really tasty! Big chocolate and cinnamon notes. Was a little scared it would be too spicy (as in Crime/Punishment levels) because of reviews I have read but it is not. Chill out guys lol. The spicy notes only add to the complexity and makes the beer that much better. Really adds to the cinnamon flavor. Seek this beer out if you have not tried it.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Westbrook Tulip so I can keep it #propa.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before dissipating. Some lacing leaves behind a ring.

S- Aroma is full of cinnamon and chocolate. Also some very light vanilla and a hint of the habanero.

T- Big chocolate and a little cinnamon at first which makes each sip so decadent. Then, the heat kicks in on the back of the tongue. This one burns a bit. I wish there was more of a cinnamon presence but this tastes quite good as it is.

M- Semi viscous, which I expected due to how thick it poured. Definitely coats the mouth and throat a bit.

O- Fantastic beer. I only wish I got a touch more cinnamon in the flavor and a bit less heat.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pure awesomeness here! Silky smooth in the glass and smells like a graham cracker dipped in chocolate. The nose does a poor job of letting the tongue know about the kind of spicy kick it is in store for. Super creamy, spicy as hell (much more than other spiced stouts I have tried), a huge dose of chocolate, and some timely cinnamon. For an undoubtedly poor comparison, I feel it is similar to Abraxas if Cory were to get extra frisky on the peppers for a batch.

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Photo of ahbithwabm
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a light brown head. Smells of chocolate and vanilla with some faint cinnamon. Taste follows the nose. Not too heavy on the cinnamon and follows with a slight lingering spice. The feel is a bit thinner than I would like but the carbonation works well with the spice. A great beer I hope to drink more of but definitely prefer abraxas or hunah.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark and thick, tan head but scant and low retention. Nose wafts chocolate, vanilla, roasty coffee notes, very muted cinnamon, and faint chilis. Taste is similar with a very nice spicy finish. A bit muted up front but chocolate and vanilla forward, while finish is all chili. Body is a bit thinner than the desired. Feel is silky but not like Huna, though a touch more sharp in carbonation which works with the spice.

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Photo of ccnorthwest
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was phenomenal... It's almost perfect. I'm not even a big imperial stout person... It leaves the perfect kick of spice when swallowed... The nose is amazing, body amazing, this is a solid imperial stout. Are you kidding me?!

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Photo of Sails_Ambassador
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle, served at cellar Temps, the heat came through more than that of abraxas and bomb! Not sure if that is personal taste but I love this beer fits my taste buds perfectly

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Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Label says Bottled On: 6/4/15.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Aroma is bursting with cinnamon and chocolate. Also some vanilla and a hint of the habanero pepper. Vibrantly sweet-smelling with some booze fume coming out more as it warms.

T- Sweet at first with the chocolate and cinnamon dominating, then the pepper burn comes in on the finish. The flavors meld remarkably well together. A bit of char in the aftertaste. The ABV is hidden very well as I'm enticed to take more and more sips. Honestly, the pepper burn starts to catch up to me quicker than the booze forcing me to wait until it subsides before I continue drinking.

M- Soft and creamy. Caipsacin burn starts to build in the back of the throat and stays. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Excellent but the pepper burn is just a teency bit too much for me to enjoy more than 8-10 oz at a time.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with dark tan head which reduced quickly; brief oily cap; little to no lace. Smells like a chocolate cake just from the oven - remarkable. Initial flavors of chocolate and chili peppers; chocolate middle with warming peppery bite; alcohol flavor is well hidden. Hot, slick mouthfeel; my tongue tingles with chili pepper and alcohol - finish is pure chile rellenos stuffed with bittersweet chocolate. Overall, if you like hot and spicy, this peppery/chocolate stout is for you; tops in its class.

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Photo of Moose90
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 Vintage, 22oz bottle, poured into tasting glass

A — Pours a nearly opaque, very dark dark brown color into the glass, comes out of the bottle quite quickly and immediately seems a bit thin. When held up to the light you can see some dark brown hues and waves of light around the edges. There is a coffee colored head atop the beer that fades somewhat quickly and leaves some spotty and sticky lacing around the edges.

S — This beer has a nice aroma before you even put your nose up into it, can smell lots of chocolates, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, coffee, cocoa. There is a bit of a sharpness to it though, not super rich or chewy, but there is a fair depth of aromas going on here.

T — Tastes initially much like the nose, with some really nice coffee and chocolate character, like chocolate frosting, quite sweet. Little bit of vanilla and caramel as well. As you get towards the finish you are hit with a large sharp nearly burning heat, hello chili peppers! What once was a nice if not overly sweet stout, is now a steaming hot spice war.

M — Medium-Full bodied, expected this to be full bodied and much thicker though.

O — A good beer overall, I just wish there would have been a bit more balance to this one, maybe over time there will be a mellowing out of the chili heat, only one way to find out!

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Mexican Cake from Westbrook Brewing Co.
4.38 out of 5 based on 2,589 ratings.
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