Xibalba | Wicked Weed Brewing

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XibalbaXibalba
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
XibalbaXibalba
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wicked Weed Brewing
North Carolina, United States
wickedweedbrewing.com

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial pumpkin ale brewed with cacao nibs, chiles (ancho, Serrano, habanero) and spices.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
182
pDev:
9.18%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
43
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 182
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on September 30th of 2015. Yes, '15. Poured to a tulip Duvel glass.

A: The body is dark with brown hints. It's not very opaque but there's a relative haziness. The head is brown to beige with no retention. When poured, it created a 1 finger thick head. No lacing.
S: After almost two years after being bottled, the aroma is only comprised of dark or pure chocolate and spices. There's literally no pumpkin at all.
T: The taste starts very chocoloaty, more like a milky bar but fight after, the acidity and the bitterness of chocolate kicks in and presents a harsher version of chocolate. In the end, and very softly, the spices come in and give a somewhat hotness to the beer, pepper-like.
M: Body is medium. Carbonation is medium to low. Alcohol, at 8.2%, is unnoticed. Bitterness is mildly and hotness is low but present.
O: First Wicked Weed but unfortunately a beer with almost 2 years, with no pumpkin profiles at all. Not a good beer to age at all. It's still drinkable though.

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Photo of ichorNet
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure before I start: this bottle may be getting a little bit old at this point (bottled in August 2016) but for some reason, this reached my area only recently whereas the BA version came around much earlier. Kind of strange, but looking forward to what this has in store for me. Really liked the BA one, so we'll see.

Pours a reddish copper-amber color with a thin, retentive ring of khaki foam that laces very spottily and not particularly well. A lot of particulate matter floating around in here, lending a distinct haze to the proceedings. Not really overly impressed with this one, but WW typically doesn't disappoint overall, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Nose is heady pumpkin pie spices with earthy squash, some apparent piquancy from the peppers and some doughy, bready malts underscoring all of the above notes. A bit of chocolate and caramel as well. I'm surprised the spices and peppers have retained the level of vibrancy they apparently have here in spite of the fact that this is like five months old and the bottle says to drink it fresh. Loving the interplay of earthy cinnamon with the nutmeg and habanero/serrano peppers in the nose here. Super well-done in my opinion.

Malty and caramel-forward on the tongue with some nice spice notes toward the mid-palate. The finish bears a dry and somewhat tame heat that nevertheless fits the bill here and accomplishes some nice complexity. Perhaps the capsaicin elements survived better in the nose than they did flavor-wise, but I'm still detecting a moderate chili note that works well with the high-ish ABV to provide a different kind of "burn" towards the end of each sip. Dusty cocoa powder and bready malts work nicely with the fall spices to make for a solid sipper.

Feel is on the thinner side of medium with a bright carbonation and a soda-like disposition. Though there is some chewiness from the malt base, this doesn't really drink like an 8% beer when all is said and done. I think the warming finish helps this out a bit, but it still feels like it isn't as good as it could be. I preferred the BA version by a few points. Still, worth a drink. Might try it fresher this year if we get it on time.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap

A- pours a deep brown color with a creamy white head that leaves some nice lacing behind

S- sweet and malty, cinnamon, nutmeg, some spicy pepper kicks in with notes of pepper skin. The finish gives more malty sweetness with cinnamon and a peppery linger

T- sweet and malty up front, with spicy notes of cinnamon and pepper hear kicking in mid-palate. The finish gives notes of pumpkin, pepper skin and cinnamon

M- medium body and carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and creamy finish

O- the pepper heat is a great compliment to the spices and sweet malt

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

real different than the barrel aged one in so many ways. starting with the appearance, much lighter and more of a red amber color than a dark one like the barrel aged was, almost looked like that had a stout blended in or something. this smells more like the peppers and spices too, the barrel really took it over. not that its hot, but you can really appreciate the chilies in nose and taste, especially in the throat and especially when the beer warms up a bit. cacao for sure, a nice smooth almost buttery earthy balance to the peppers, and a hint of cinnamon too. still not all that much squash, which i miss here, and without the oak and char of the barrel it seems really sweet from the grain. i think coffee would be a nice additional ingredient here to add some bitter and some acidity, this just isnt as complex as it could be. neither this nor the barrel aged one were overly impressive, especially considering the prices! these guys make some awesome beers, but the price points are just embarrassing, i mean, really?! i can think of 50 pumpkin beers id rather drink for a fifth of the price...

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"For everything there is a season and tradition. That's why our pumpkin ale, brewed with cacao nibs, ancho, serrano, and habanero chiles with fall spices, is brewed once a year during the onset of autumn. Inspired by the mythos of the ancients, Xibalba (she-bahl-bah) is an otherworldly reminder that seasons are fleeting and to be celebrated". Brewed in the style of a pumpkin ale, available in 500ml. bottles and on seasonal draft.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy froth head of a cinnamon cream over a deep brown body with high clarity and moderate carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.5

(Smell) Rich, roasted malts, chocolate, caramelized sugars, pumpkin meat, earthy spice and roasted pepper heat. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) The flavor brings considerably less residual sweetness than the aroma suggested, with rich roasted grain, chocolate and earthy pumpkin spice. Finishes spicy and roasted bitter. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, mildly oily, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is moderately earthy roast and spicy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) A promising pumpkin ale, a bit too fermented out with no residual sweetness to round out the flavor. Pretty interesting display of flavors, especially the pepper blend, which creates a lot of pepper heat on the back end. Unique beer, but too dry which severely impairs drinkability, otherwise there is plenty to savor in this beer. 3.75

Wicked Weed Brewing's
Xibalba
3.73/5.00

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Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby brown color where light does pass through. Modest beige head. A cross between a blanket of lace and streaks.

I smell holiday spices of nutmeg, molasses and less of vanilla.

If anything the flavor is a stronger version of the smell. Again, vanilla seems to be the strongest contribution here. The finish brings forward a strong milk chocolate taste. The aftertaste is more bitter with a bit of alcohol. Richer than anticipated but also with more carbonation. Reminds me of a well made winter ale.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottled on 8/9/16 poured into a Nonic glass.

Dark brown color with a fluffy beige head that never completely dissipates. Smell is earthy and malty with a hint of chocolate and alk. Taste, like much of the Wicked Weeds I've had, is initially very understated but subtly grows on you with hints of chocolate and pepper heat. A wonderfully complex offering that I'd gladly have again.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Wicked Weed globe glass. Bottled August 9th 2016.

Deep dark black walnut, with hints of red. Quite opaque and almost right out of a black paint can and licorice dark. Top creamy two finger espresso light tan head, lingers with an easy one finger tall height.

Creamy sensing cocoa on the nose. Wood and tree like bark with some phenolic nutmeg flavors and a subdued sweetness. Dark cocoa powder rich with a nice soft sensing malt bill. Hints slightly vegetative in a nice addition with a touch of peppered heat. Real nice and neat smelling.

Palate hits with a nice washing amount of cocoa. Light bodied, slightly thin, but with a good mid palate of cocoa richness. Nice controlled pepper on this, not a hot bomb but makes its presence nicely known. Finishes a little fruity. Interestingly enough pumpkin and squash like flavors are very much an after thought, leaving less of a malt depth and body though however, and a touch of nutmeg and phenol hinting spicy character.

Nice take on a pumpkin ale, a style that I usually steer away from. I could easily go for this beer again someday.

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Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

8/9/16 bottling date

A: A very very dark brown pour but not quite black. Good sized frothy light brown head. Excellent head retention and thin little bits of lacing when it does fade away.

S: Some pumpkin and pumpkin spice but the chili peppers stand out. Vegetal pepper aroma and spiciness too. A bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: Interesting. Chocolate and pumpkin up front with some nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice it seems. Sweet chili pepper flesh and then a brief burst of heat on the back end. Spiciness and heat lingers on the back end between sips.

M: A touch thin but smooth and a little spicy.

O: Nice touch on a pumpkin ale. I thought it might be more of a stout but it's not, just has some chocolate and chili pepper flavor mixed in with a "typical" pumpkin beer. It's a good combination, I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of Slack
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color and mostly clear with minor head and nice lacing.

Nose is pepper, minor cocoa, and a mix of yam/pumpkin.

Taste is pumpkin, minor sweetness, malt, peppers, spice, and cinnamon.

Mouthful is medium to light and softish. Carbonation is medium. Finish is warming.

This falls into a better than average category but...the (green) peppers are a bit strong throughout. The vegetative quality is a big drawback here but it generally works. In the world of pumpkin beers, I'd recommend trying it.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8/9:
Pours a deep amber, almost a rusty brown. Head is light tan/beige, and collects at the edge fairly thickly. a few streams of lacing.

Nose is a typical pumpkin beer nose, with a decent amount of strength to it. Pumpkin spices if the forefront, there is also the tang of the featured ingredient and I think I get a little hint of the peppers. I do not really get any of the chocolate ingredient.

Taste starts off like many pumpkin beers with the spice and lightly sweet earthiness of the pumpkin. It then takes a left turn, and goes more vegetal to bitter earthy. I think this general impression is caused by the cacao nibs, as there is a light unsweetened chocolate note in there. The peppers may also be influencing this note, as I get a little bit of there flesh next. Not much heat from the peppers, though. These flavors are not distinct, and they show themselves to me in varying degrees with each sip. For instance, the chocolate seems to come out a bit more near room temperature.

An interesting beer, but I think it could be either a little cleaner in the flavors (maybe addition by subtraction) or have the base beer shine a little more. Counter this with my curiosity at the nuanced notes I get with each sip, and I end up at my rating,

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Photo of Stakebone
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding fall seasonal. Color is deep brown. Carbonation and head are moderate. Malt comes thru along with spice in aroma. Flavor is mostly sweet malt and chocolate from nibs and dark malt. Smooth. So smooth. Very drinkable. No alcohol or pepper burn but some pepper heat in aftertaste balances out the sweet malt. Very easy drinking. No hard edges at all. The Christmas spices are everpresent too. Nice full body rounds it out. If I weren't such a purist I'd say bring on the vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look- deep amber with a two-finger khaki head and lacing with most sips.
Smell - pumpkin, cinnamon, and peppers.
Taste - chocolate and heat from the peppers are strongest, but there are some notes of cinnamon and very minimal pumpkin.
Feel - great carbonation, rich chewy body, and smooth finish.
Overall, I'm really liking the heat and spices on this one, which are even nicer when combined with sweet chocolate. The body is especially noteworthy for the style - very rich and smooth.

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Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel brown color. Beige head.

Lots of pumpkin and spice. Some cocao nibs show. The peppers and the heat are in the finish but minimal.

Not really for me. Wish it was hotter.

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

14 month old 500 ml bottle served in a Porter Bar goblet.

Appearance: Russet-mahogany colored body with a thin but semi-durable light beige head. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Spicy roasted grains and dark bread with roasted peppers. Hints of chilies and chocolate.

Flavor: Follows the aroma to a point, but the cacao nibs and chilies are more apparent, particularly after some heat builds with repeated sipping. Strong, complex spicy flavor; even stronger than the aroma suggests.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Lively, medium carbonation.

Overall: unique and interesting, with moderate chili heat.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - Black with thick cream colored head that sticks around forever, nice lacing.

Smell - the coco stands out first along with some pumpkin and cinnamon the peppers also stand out as the beer warms the smell and taste changes and you get it all.

Taste - The pumpkin comes in first I get a little chocolate and the chilies are present as well, not much heat.

Feel - Full bodied creamy very smooth

Overall - Very happy with this will have it again for sure.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is such a unique beer. Smells of pumpkin casserole with a nice dose of peppers. Flavor is wonderfully congiled with tones of pumpkin pie minus the spice, chocolate and a nice dusting of dry peppers. Not overly spicy and sweet like many other pumpkin beers. Solid.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, toffee-auburn coloring, with a filmy, white head. Nose of pumpkin spice, pepper heat, chocolate, and subtle creamy highlights. Flavors are pepper heat forward, with a pumpkin bread backbone, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Smooth and light in mouth, slick, with a spiced and warming aftertaste of chiles and pumpkin. Smooth, slick, oily finish.

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is an amber and brown color with a small tan colored head. The aroma is a blend of spices, pumpkin, cocoa and some nuttiness. The flavor is chocolate, some pumpkin and a little spice heat. A very interesting beer.

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Photo of LastMalkieri
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The pepper in this was a great touch, and the pumpkin was nice and subtle, which is not always the case with pumpkin beers. Definitely a neat one to try out if you get the chance.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark brown-caramel body, one finger offwhite head, good retention. Not much lacing. Smells of pumpkin spices, nutmegs, chocolate, hot chili pepper, no vegetal aromas, caramel. So far, so good. Flavour is well-integrated, nutmeg, cinnamon, other pumpkin spices combine very well with the hot peppers to provide a mild-moderate hot experience that isn't too hot for me. Integrated nicely. Caramel sweetness rounds things out. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lower carbonation, easy to drink, nice depth.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is great - totally avoids the traditional pumpkin beer profile. The chocolate has cocoa depth but doesn't overwhelm the base. Chili gives a bit of a fruity, savory note to the aroma and contributes smooth heat to the finish. Body is medium and creamy.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of the best pumpkin beers I've had. The chiles work really well here and give a pleasant amount of heat and flavor. The cacao is present as well and is another great addition and change from the usual pumpkin beer blend. I wish more breweries were more adventurous with their pumpkin beers.

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Photo of joe1510
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Bottled: 9/3/15

Another big thanks to Mr Wilson! Cheers, dude! Xibalba is darker than expected. The darkest of browns , actually. Bordering on black but not quite. The head is easy forming and silky smooth with it's mocha shine. The ring is impressively chunky, constantly being reinforced by streams of carbonation while leaving in its wake thick drink lines after each drink.

The nose is interesting. Can't say that I get much gourd but the spices present and the base go well together. I take that back, with some warmth there is certainly some pumpkin pulp present. The spices are pleasantly dispersed with the cocoa and chiles adding earthiness, the cocoa adding, well, cocoa as well on the back. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are all subtle, running hand in hand really. Appetizing if not a little soft.

The flavor follows the nose.To neatly wrap up this beer, before the review, it's well integrated and delicious. The very soft, welcoming roast of the base beer makes for a good canvas. Gourd-y pumpkin runs throughout while earthy ancho and deep cocoa follow closely behind. The spices mentioned above are intermingled throughout. A really even handed spicing throughout. Well done.

The roast brings a bit of soft bitterness off the bat while the moderate body slickly slides through. The heat wasn't noticeable on the first couple drinks but now with a few under my belt there's a noticeable tingle in the back of the throat without any real heat. It hides the 8% very well and drinks like a dream.

Wicked Weed brewed yet another good beer. Surprise, surprise! I'm not usually big on pumpkin beer but this one has a complimentary spice profile, actual pumpkin, and with the added cocoa nibs & peppers it changes things up nicely from your run of the mill pumpkin beers. Good choice Wil, good choice!

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a slightly reddish amber with a moderate head, reducing to a thin layer with edging. Scent comes with some chocolate with pumpkin spice. A little chocolate in the mouth. Enjoyable!

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Xibalba from Wicked Weed Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 182 ratings