I'm always interested to see what breweries from other states offer in the way of new delicious beers to try. I've had my share of beers from the Northeast, so it's a new experience every time I get my hands on a beer from a state I don't normally get to enjoy beer from. Two nights ago I got to try a world class beer as classified by Beer Advocate, my favorite beer reviewing website, that received a score of 96 out of 100 and that was made by a brewery located in South Carolina. That brewery is Westbrook Brewing Company, a brewery that I recently discovered thanks to Marty at St. James Beverage who got in a selection of their beers recently.
Mexican Cake, besides having some nice hand drawn art on each bottle's label, is a very unique beer with a mix of many different flavors. It's described as an imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and habanero peppers. This combination of flavors is something you wouldn't normally see in most beers and is experimental by all means. Luckily the experiment turned out to be successful.
Immediately after opening the bottle the smell of all these different ingredients fight for the prime real estate in your nostrils. The cocoa and peppers stand out the most. The taste has more of a balance between the four ingredients with a slight burning sensation experienced by your taste buds with each sip (what were you expecting? It's habanero!). The cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla, masked by the spiciness of the peppers initially, will all slowly start to come out and say hello as you drink the beer more and more.
Overall this makes for a very enjoyable beer drinking experience, as long as you don't mind a little spice in your life, or throat for that matter. The burning sensation is never overwhelming, but sticks with you throughout the drinking period. You get more and more accustomed to it as you get closer to the bottom of the bottle.
Mexican Cake falls at 10.5% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and in no way should be consumed alone. I drank my bottle with the help of my two friends Tom and Dave. We're all fans of stouts and Mexican Cake was a great way to commemorate a night where the three of us were reunited after not seeing each other for awhile.
If you can find yourself a bottle of Mexican Cake at a local beer distributor or through a trade via Beer Advocate I highly recommend getting one.
Dave is concerned for my well-being after hearing of the habanero peppers in Mexican Cake