Tansey’s Blind Rating – 85 Points
Xibalba Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Review by Eric Tansey, CSW, Somm1
Xibalba Imperial Pumpkin Ale is dark brown with an almost greenish hue and a one finger off white head. On the palate, the beer has a medium body mouthfeel that is sweet and peppery. Have you ever had chili cocoa? If not, then you have to try it. This beer is just like that. As far as Pumpkin Spice Lattes in a beer glass go…this is definitely not that type of beer. However, this is still very much a pumpkin/fall holiday beer and there is absolutely a time and place for it. On the tip of the palate, the beer is sweet with semisweet cocoa and caramelized brown sugar characteristics, followed by holiday spices (think cinnamon and ginger) and a little coconut–almost like a Mounds Bar. The finish brings some spicy pepper and a subtle habanero heat on the back of the tongue. Very interesting beer that is perfect for sitting around a bonfire on that first cold fall night. Cheers!
Xibalba, pronounced Sha-balb-ba, is a Mayan word meaning “a place of fear”, and was a term reserved for many caves in the Mayan surroundings that were considered to be gateways to the underworld. A cool story for Halloween and a cool beer to share with the wine nerd at your Halloween party. Cheers!
Producer – Wicked Weed Brewery
Region – Asheville, North Carolina
Style – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
IBU (International bittering units) – Unknown/Low
Suggested Glassware – Goblet
Alcohol – 8.2%
Food Pairing – Pumpkin chili, Mounds Bar
From the Brewery
Xibalba (Shih-bulb-uh) is back! Our seasonal Imperial Pumpkin Ale features Ancho Chiles, habanero peppers, and cacao nibs from our friends at French Broad Chocolates. The divisiveness of pumpkin beers cannot be understated, so we worked to create a pumpkin beer for those that despise the gourd-based libation, as well as for those who can’t get enough of them. http://wickedweedbrewing.com/xibalba-release/