In a world where everything seems to be broken down into genres and subgenres, and everything has to be pigeon-holed or categorized, it seems to defy all expectations. Is it a stout? Is it a dessert beer? Is it a fruit beer? Is it sweet? Is it savoury? Why wont it conform, godamnit?!
I can't answer any of those questions, as it's a bit of all of them and more. The only thing I can say about Mexicake, is that it's bloody brilliant. This is proper next-level brewing.
"The only thing I can say about Mexicake is that it's bloody brilliant. This is proper next-level brewing."
Here's the thing though; you should really go drink a bottle of Mexicake without any prior knowledge of what it is. Think of it being an experience. I mean, I'm not saying its life affirming or anything, but I'm not NOT saying it is, OK? You should savour it without anyone spoiling it for you, it's more of a surprise. What I'm saying is - stop reading this, then go away and try a bottle and then come back. I'll wait.
I can only assume if you're reading this part, that you've either a) followed my advice and you're back to see if I've come to the same conclusions you have about the beer, or b) you're the type of person who skips right to the last page of a novel to see what happens and - spoilers be damned - you're going to carry on reading this regardless. Either way, hello. Welcome back.
The problem I have with Mexicake, is nothing to do with the beer itself. The problem I have, is knowing where to start this discussion about it. I've never tasted a beer like this. As far as I'm concerned, it's unique in the world of craft beer and nothing else exists like this (I'm happy to be proven otherwise though). The official name of the beer is Mexicake Imperial Stout, which doesn't give much away. It described as tasting like a Mexican chocolate cake, which sounds ...bonkers. A spicy cake? I mean, who would want to eat that?
Me. I would. If it tastes half as good as this beer, I would eat a Mexican chocolate cake. All day, every day.
"I would eat a Mexican chocolate cake - all day, every day."
And in fairness, that's a pretty good description of Mexicake (I mean, it's right there in the name as well!) When you taste it though, there's so much going on that it'll probably stop you in your tracks a bit. There's sweet and spicy. There's vanilla and chocolate. It's creamy, it's smooth. You'd absolutely be forgiven for being a bit overwhelmed. To really enjoy Mexicake, you want to take your time a bit with it and savour it. Don't rush it - not least because this is an 11% ABV monster.
It does taste like a cake though. It's weird, but not in a bad way. If beer is usually described as liquid bread, this is liquid sponge cake. Which sounds bonkers. You get vanilla in spadefuls, blended with the chocolatey, malty flavours you'd expect from a stout. And its all so creamy and decadent - smooth and luscious. It isn't liquid sponge cake - it's sponge cake smoothie.
And then chilli hits you. A subtle tingling on the tongue, that moves down to the back of the throat. It isn't in-your-face (well, I guess technically it is IN your face) - this isn't some macho, vindaloo, atomic heat. It's just an extra dimension to an already tremendous beer.
You may look at the bottle, see 11% printed there and think "rocket fuel", but genuinely I didn't think this tasted as strong as that ABV would suggest. I've had strong beers before and they tasted strong - like they were straddling the line between beer and spirit. This is not like that. It's refined - yes, you'll feel a warm glow inside as you drink it (probably from the chilli), but as long as you respect it and don't neck it all at once, you should be fine. This is a treat, it isn't a session beer. Remember though - up in here in Scotland you will pay more than a normal bottle of beer, due to minimum pricing. Mexicake is well worth the premium you'll pay though.