Tasting: July 3, 2015
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 770
My over the top enjoyment of Cigar City’s 2014 Hunaphu (98 points) motivated me to trade for two more bottles of 2015 “Huna”. Some commentary on one of the trade sites noted that Westbrook’s Mexican Cake was extremely similar to Hunaphu. The connection isn’t hard to make as both Hunaphu and Mexican Cake are imperial stouts that utilize cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon and peppers (Huna uses ancho and pasilla while Mexican Cake utilizes habanero). The alcohol by volume (ABV) on the 2014 Hunaphu is 11%, while the ABV on Mexican Cake is 10.5%. I happen to have a 2014 bottle of Mexican Cake in my cellar and just to play it safe, I acquired another while I was lining up my recent Hunaphu trades.
Westbrook Brewing is based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and is fully distributed in just three states, including New York. Mexican Cake was brewed in honor of the brewery’s first birthday (2011) and they’ve released it in subsequent years. This year, some kegs made their way to New York but I was a bit slow as I missed the three hour window where one could get a squealer (32 oz.) for just $14.99.
I assume there is something unique about a “baked” Mexican cake. I can’t imagine a cake baked with habanero peppers and the ingredients sound more like a mole sauce. A Google search leads me to traditional Mexican birthday cake and there are some varieties that are made with chocolate and cinnamon.
It does initially remind of Hunaphu in that I get a wonderful dark chocolate, coconut and marshmallow flavor right out of the gate. Tastes like a dark chocolate Mounds candy bar. Sweeping in behind is a crisp and spicy cinnamon and a building wave of heat. The spicy heat is a bit more than I expected and certainly more than I experienced in the 2014 Hunaphu. While its unique, the heat does get a bit invasive. Definitely a bottle you should share. I can’t put Mexican Cake as high as Hunaphu but it earns 95 points in my book.