Off the Wall: Mexican Cake

Name: Mexican Cake
Brewery: Westbrook Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 10.50%
First Brewed: 2011
Price: Landed this beer in a trade with Ashley Bower.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I landed this beer in a trade with my Google+ beer drinking buddy Ashley Bower, and I have been waiting for a long time to drink it. I have heard that the beer is starting to mellow out, so I posted about it on Facebook and decided on a day to drink it. That is when David Rojo showed up and said he wanted to try it. I hate to drink beer by myself, so I invited him over. I had never met David, but knew his name. I must admit, I asked Dakine about him… But he assured me that David was a nice guy. We were going to drink this beer on Monday, but he had to reschedule.

A few days later we finally got to try the beer, and it was GREAT meeting David. He drove a long way to drink this beer, but did get the chance to grab some dinner and drinks at Fate Brewing Company while he was on this side of town.

Mexican Cake is apparently rare, but is starting to show up in beer trading circles. I am fairly new to Westbrook, but everything I have had from them is great. I have a few more bottles in the fridge from them including a double IPA and a gose. I might even have a can or two. I have to thank Ashley and Jeffrey Davis for introducing me to this brewing company. Cheers!

In the Glass: The beer is black as night and produces a nice thin tan head. There isn’t much lace here, and I would love to let this bottle sit for a few years. But I keep hearing the heat is stating to mellow out, so it was time to drink it.

Nose: This beer uses habanero peppers in the brewing process, and while the heat from the peppers is present on the nose, it isn’t overwhelming. I am getting more chocolate here, with a nice subtle sweetness that I would expect from… Well, from cake! I guess the peppers are what make this beer Mexican.

Flavor: The flavor is great. There is a nice subtle heat at the beginning of the beer, but then it quickly mellows out. Then, as the sweetness calms the palate, the heat really picks up. As the beer warms up the heat really comes out, too. Also, as this warms up, the sweetness really comes in. This isn’t the most amazing beer I have ever had, but it is a nice thick chewy stout.

I wish I had bottle of this to age. Even if the heat from the peppers mellows, I bet the sweetness would start to increase.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel, cold, was pretty basic. As the beer heated up, it really started to become thick and chewy like a good Russian imperial stout should. I keep using the word chewy, but if you taste this, it will make sense. Imagine a beer that you could eat with a spoon.

Aftertaste: As I continue to swallow the heat dwindles, but it becomes almost smokey. It’s not dry, but that is what keeps coming to my mind.

Ashley, thank you so much for sending me this beer. I almost forgot. I almost tossed this beer in the trash! When I started unpacking the box that Ashley sent, and she did a good job packing, I didn’t see the Mexican Cake. That was a part of this trade and I was a little upset that she didn’t send it. I went to Google+ and sent her an instant message to find out what was going on.

While I was waiting for her to respond, I decided to go back and see if I missed it. I DID!!! So this beer was almost tossed. I am glad that I went back and looked, and I apologize to Ashley for freaking out.

This beer is great, and I am SO glad I got to try it. I am also glad that I had the chance to share it with David. It was great meeting him, talking beer, and sharing my Mexican Cake with him!

Mexican Cake – The bottle says: “Way back in December 2011, we brewed our 1st Anniversary beer – a serious imperial stout aged on coco nibs, vanilla nibs, and fresh habanero peppers. It was so delicious we decided to bring it back once each year. ¡Salud!

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

So, I have to admit that I didn’t realize that Ricky was expecting us to do an official review of this beer until he sent it to me, so I didn’t write a review while drinking it.  Sorry about that!  So this review is all coming from memory.  We did have a good time meeting David and sharing the Mexican Cake with him, I do remember that.

To me, from what I remember, this beer didn’t seem quite rich enough to be a Russian imperial stout.  It was good, don’t get me wrong.  But I feel like the spicy aspect of it is kind of what makes it what it is, and that it’s almost a gimmick.  I do like how the spiciness sneaks up on you, though.  That is definitely something I remember.  I remember trying the beer and going “this doesn’t taste Mexican (or spicy) to me” and then it hit me.  “Oh, there it is!”  It was a decent stout with some spiciness to it, but not worth all the hype over it, in my opinion.  Good stuff, but not as good as I expected.  I can’t say I wouldn’t have it again if I was given the opportunity, though!

Rating: 3.5/5

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