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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,079 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,079
Hads: 5,645
Avg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 2,872
Gots: 3,258 | FT: 248
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008

Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged for 8 months in circa 1990's Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

OG: 29.5p [plato]
IBU: 82 [high]
Cases: 3000 produced [LTD]
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel]
Yeast: British Ale [house]
Color: 167SRM [midnight black]
View: Beers (87) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,079 | Hads: 5,645
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 bottle I've been aging in my cellar- I decided to crack it with my wife in this prelude week to Christmas. I very much like the way the 13% abv edges have been smoothed out and the Bourbon flavors have become integrated into the beer. Definitely noticeable Bourbon notes, but it doesn't dominate the beer, and it's become oh so smooth. Pours inky black and viscous with a thin brown rim of a head and some legs on the glass. Nice aromas that present as a seamless whole- outstanding notes of licorice, vanilla, bourbon, and molasses. The taste is even better- really nice bourbon notes coupled beautifully with roasted notes, dark chocolate, licorice, and a slight woodiness than underlines the beer. Wonderful stuff. Absolutely silky in the mouth, with the sense of having swallowed some excellent drinking chocolate laced with good quality whiskey. Thoroughly enjoyed this, and I'm glad I was patient enough to wait.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 reserve, poured in a snifter. The beer is jet black, with a light halo of off-white head. Pours very thick and smooth. Aromas are spilling out of this snifter from a good distance; this is a beast. Very rich molasses, vanilla, bourbon, woody notes, chocolate, and toffee notes provide huge layers on your sense of smell. Throughout the layers, you pick up hints of licorice, cream, cherry, tobacco, smoke and char. This smells great. Flavors are very rich, with a blast of char, bitter and roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and heavy booze notes. This is a blast on your palate. The more you drink, more flavor profiles reveal themselves, including tobacco, peat, earthy notes, and smoke. This is heavy. The body is robust, smooth, and full, like old motor oil, which is the perfect body to support this cavalcade of flavors. Rich, thickly sweet aftertaste of coffee, chocolate, and molasses, this remains heavy from start to finish. The finish is thick, smooth, and lingering. This beer keeps you on the ropes from the moment you open the bottle, and I personally loved every second of it.

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Photo of liamt07
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Rutager, 650ml into a tulip. Bottled March 14, 2012. Killer!

Black body, with a bubbly light brown head. Mild retention. Nose of oak, whiskey, chocolate and molasses. Sweet and completely balanced. Taste has more oak, vanilla, whiskey, lightly roasted malts, sweet molasses and chocolate. Quite thick in feel, no alcohol and super smooth. Not super complex, but an extremely well crafted BA'd stout.

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Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, received in a recent trade with BelgianBeerGal. Thanks again Amy!

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger dark mocha head that quickly fades into a thick lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a good balance of luscious roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee and bourbon. The barrel character is there without overpowering the other notes. Lots of earthy oak/dry wood in the nose along with sweet boozy bourbon as well as some hints of vanilla and toasted coconut. Lots of dark roasted malt giving off hints of dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal and tobacco. Slightly smokey but not burnt or acrid smelling. Smells like there might even be some cedar in there. Surprisingly, underneath all of this, there is some very faint light fruit and licorice as well as a good bit of earthy, piny hops. This beer has 80 IBUs and it shows in the nose, even with all of the other intense aromas.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry, bitter hops up front that lingers thrughout the intense malt backbone into a nice warm fnish. Resinous, earthy pine flavor that holds it's own against the more intense, robust flavors. This adds another dimension to this beer that I wasn't expecting. After the initial bitterness there is a strong barrel presence with a prominent dry oak/wood flavor. The bourbon and other spirits are there but they are well integrated into the beer withut turnng it into a hot, boozy mess. The smoother vanilla/marshmallow/coconut notes that were suggested in the aroma aren't evident to my palate.

Although there is a nice bourbon flavor, the robust, roasted malt flavors are very prominent. Lots of luscious dark chocolate, oatmeal and burnt toast as well as a very strong roasted coffee bean presence. The coffee/espresso flavor is deep and roasty but is not stale, burnt or acrid tastng at all and doesn't overpower the other flavors. Again, I'm picking up a good amount of smokiness/tobacco flavor that I'm really loving. All of these flavors are bouncing off of one another resulting in an incredibly complex, delicious beer. Each sip brings something new and although there is some nice heat and burn in the finish, the ABV at 13% is very well masked. Very quaffable and tackling the whole bomber was no problem for me. Maybe that says more about me than the beer but that's a discussion for another time.

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Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pure black colored beer with a small dark Brown colored head.

Smells sweet with a strong chocolate and coconut aroma. Lots of vanilla here and a whiff of whiskey. There is a faint orange aroma here like a Cadbury Chocolate Orange.

Starts out strong vanilla and chocolate, with some coconut and caramel. Strong vanilla and a bitter chocolate aftertaste, this is very much a vanilla and chocolate beer. Slightly hot in the mouth still not bad at all for 13% ABV. Tasty but still a little young, let it age a year.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin; alcohol seems to have everything well dissolved.

Very good drinkability for a young high-test beer. This needs to be aged for a year.

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Photo of weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a turbid opaque onyx with russet toned edges. A small, foamy tan head slowly fades. Scattered streaks of pacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of dark bakers chocolate, vanilla beans, sugary rum, bourbon, and intense caramel. Sheesh! I could smell this all afternoon.
Taste is of the aromas with a fine sipping version of caramel, vanilla, and cocoa. Obvious bourbon influence on amwell done imperial stout. Hells yeahs!
Mouthfeel is a tad boozy, as expected, full bodied, chewy, with a resonating sugar cookie and chocolate chip finish.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #700


Pours forth from the bottle with a viscosity so great that a rheologist would marvel at it. It appears ebony, with a huge light brown head, excellent retention, and scattered lacing.

The nose exhibits a great blend of caramel, roasted malt, and chocolate. The roast is of a moderate strength, and a dash of coffee is evident. There's a nice level of booze heat and a well integrated bourbon character. Do I detect cream? A wonderfully complex and balanced nose.

The taste is earthy bitterness up front with big chocolate and caramel notes, accompanied by a moderate roast and a light astringency. Again, bourbon is well integrated, and quite delicious. The beer finishes with a moderate bitterness, a touch of astringency, and just the right amount of booze heat, with a lingering bourbon-chocolate-caramel character.

The mouthfeel is incredible...full, creamy yet viscous, and sticky, with a lower moderate level of carbonation.

All around, this is an exceptional barrel aged RIS at a reasonable price for the style.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 boxed bottle purchased from Belmont Station in Portland, OR. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe during a brewday in Sydney, Australia.

Pours a fine deep brown-black, with a slightly frothy, large-bubbled head of mocha brown that leaves speckled lace. Body is solid but fluid, leaving fine carbonation, but swirling quickly. Looks good.

Nose is an excellent deep sweet oak-aged stout melange. Hints of vanilla mixed with a depth of roast, with a sharp ashy tinge like the cold remains of an overnight campfire. There's a little touch of sulphur to it as well, which lends some organics in a slightly weird, but not necessarily unpleasant way.

Palate is exceptional. Incredibly smooth and rich, and wonderfully balanced. Deep darkness is obviously the order of the day, but it's blended and folded over itself again and again until it has no harshness in it: it's smooth, rich, and certainly dark, but in the most mellow and approachable way. Light oak gives some vanilla, but as ever, that darkness sits around and draws the flavour back to its midnight depths. Wow. Incredible stuff.

Feel is smooth but with a lightness that again antagonises the true darkness that is at its heart.

This is a wonderful beer. It straddles the dichotomy of dark and light, of good and evil of sweet and bitter. Of everything. This beer is a little of it all. Really great stuff.

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Photo of biegaman
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A snifter of the very first pour from a freshly tapped keg. On-tap at the brewery in Paso Robles, August 2008.

What I couldn't be sure was the darkest shade of black I'd ever seen in a beer, could still certainly be considered among them. Although opaque and certainly dark it could not conceal its sleek luster. Its head - remarkably in good standing for a beer this strength - was mocha late brown. The streamlining of lace was exceptional.

Your mind can be swayed just about any which way with an aroma like this. The smell was paradoxically sweet and bitter with forcible notes of anise, oak, vanilla, tannins, and dark berries. It offers every enticement for you to just keep your nose fixed right there.

Its very initial impressions on the palate are boozy and sweet and have the mark of a port or sherry. It is robust with fruity esters and flavours of red grapes, dark berries, and the remnants of rich fortified wine. But this is not even half the story.

Once settled into the back of the mouth, your tongue will pick up on an entirely different cast of flavours. Here anise spice, black licorice, bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and soft fudge set in. The oak becomes buttery and vanilla is introduced.

With swallowing, the whole package - tannic red wine, aged sherry, chocolate fudge and vanilla scented oak - coat the palate with a bittersweet glaze and then gracefully pass down the throat as one. It may be hard to believe but the texture is almost creamy, like a freshly whipped mousse.

There's really no way around the high gravity. Thirteen is a lot of percentage to hide even for a beer with this much taste. To get around it, however, the blending and barrel aging have integrated the alcohol amongst the flavours and proportioned just the right amount of heat to each mouthful. Besides, sipping is only appropriate for a beer this rich.

What can be said of this creation? It was outstanding. Like the Firestone 10 and 11, it is the result of skilled blending and masterful craftsmanship. Consider brewing and blending as an art - this is certainly one of its masterpieces.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TJ's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and minimal lacing. In short, this looks like a beer that had seen considerable barrel aging (which I gather it has). On the nose, I get dark chocolate and bourbon, but not much more than that (surprisingly). On the palate, however, this beer is just killer, with considerable dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, licorice and light dry citrus... and a ton of bourbon (yum!). Although the beer is fairly sweet, there is enough dry bitterness to counter the sweetnees, making for one rich, over the top, flavorful RIS. Mouthfeel is long, rich and fairly sweet, with considerable licorice and dark chocolate in the finish.

Just delicious, and a beer that I suspect will only get better with age. Impressive.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured opaque black with a huge frothy brown head.

S: Nose is boozy,oats, light bourbon, cocoa.

T: After having Parabola on draft numerous times and initially at FW 13 release I thought the bottled 2011 was a tad bit hotter and bourbon heavy than previous years. Nose and taste mirror are very close with molasses and dark chocolate being most prominent with some bourbon and oak in there. This beer is pretty boozy but the ABV is hidden pretty good. If you dont watch it this beer will sneak up on you.

M: This brew is totally full bodied and smooth. The ABV is pretty high and this keeps drinkability at Good. Not a session beer for sure but great for a cold day!

O Oh so well done and down right fantastic

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to dsgolovin for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Black Tin Foil/Capped

Pours a jet black color, nice carbonation, with a one-finger creamy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, tons of chocolate/toffee notes, vanilla, slight bourbon note. The taste is malty, sweet, with lots of chocolate/toffee. Full/Medium Body. The ABV is too up front on this one. A very tasty brew.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cbeer88 for this bottle in the US/Canadian BIF.
Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Poured a thick dark black with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Huge bourbon, oak and vanilla aromas are present up front. Some light cocoa notes are evident in the background but the barrel aging characteristics are definitely dominate the nose.

T - The barrel aging is evident up front - the bourbon, oak and vanilla notes that were evident in the nose are abundant in the palate. There are other subdued flavours in the background, specially cocoa and charred malts. Despite the barrel aging qualities dominating the palate, this is still an excellent and very complex beer and the entire bomber was gone before I even realized it.

M - Full bodied. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation. A perfect mouth feel.

O - An excellent beer. I was able to track down another bottle to age and I am looking forward to trying this one a year down the road.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle shared at Al's blow-out.

A: The imperial stout sure is imperial looking, dark and black. A moderate-sized head, a tan color, stands out against the darkness.

S: The nose is nutty and roasted, plenty of malts to go around. Call me an outlier, but I wasn't impressed with the bourbon presence.

T: The roasted flavors consume the stout, burnt and bready, well toasted. Nuttiness matches the dark stouts, a sweeter flavor that puts a few dents into the roasted depth. Again, the barrel aging isn't very dominant. Instead the malt profile is left to fend for its own. Some oak comes through late, but the oomph of bourbon seems to be lost on me. Anyone wanna send me another to try?

M: The mouthfeel is that of an imperial stout, sweet and deep, burnt and full. Much more stout than bourbon, at least what was in my glass.

D: Big and bold, a mouthful of a stout. Only problem is that is like every other imperial stout, dark and warming with plenty of roasted flavors.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A – Almost pitch black. Creamy, yoo-hoo colored head with a nice lace.

S – Huge vanilla and caramel over a bourbony booze. There’s an interesting fruity twist deep in the nose that’s almost like cinnamon apple oatmeal.

T – Soft booze into raw vanilla and caramel. Smooth cream and thick dark chocolate. Semi-sweet cocoa finish with a touch of spicy booze.

M – Full bodied and silky smooth. Booze leaves a nice warmth on the backend.

O – A fantastic RIS. Surprisingly drinkable for the booze.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inflatablechair busted this one out at Eric's a while back... just getting around to entering in the notes.

Pours with a thick brown head... great retention and lacing...

Nose shows more wood than bourbon but with a good roasty background that carries a subtle sweetness reminiscent of dark dark chocolate.

Flavor is immediately drier than the nose made me believe.. bits of vanilla and sweet cigar wrapper envelope waves of great complexities.. a bit boozy with warmth.. and the malts open up to be a bit sweeter as the temperature rises.

Smooth but present carbonation with a pretty full decadent mouth coating body.

Thanks Sammy.... I really need to try and score some of these before the wells run dry.

4.5 across the board.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

tap at Mekong. snifter.

pours a pitch black with a small beige head. big chocolatey nose...boozy too. you can tell this'll be a big beer. taste is a perfect blend of chocolate, malt, bourbon...just excellently blended together. just lovely. so smooth. full bodied with low carbonation.

overall, one of the best RIS in the world.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bomber to Jackie O's snifter on our day of Independence,
July 4th 2011
*From notes

I'm skipping ahead in my reviews a bit as this is my 200th, and thought it only right to make it a special one.

A: As expected, it's a rich and dark molasses - almost black. A gorgeous 1.25 finger head that looks like the crispy edges of a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Decent lacing rims the snifter.

S: Dark caramel and chocolate. Rich, with thick layers of tobacco and cocoa that you can cut with a knife. As it warms, that toasty coconut I love so much comes out. The alcohol is present from beginning to end. A top notch bouquet.

T: Boozy. It's apparent from the get-go that this could take some time in a proper cellar. The tanninic acid and bourbon come out right away and never let go. As it warms, the beer really opens up - the toasted coconut and melted 65% dark chocolate come out to play. A refined layer of malt balances the heat here, and the nuances of this beer really come to life over the hour-plus I consumed it.

M: The mouthfeel is good. Very good in fact, but not great. The rich feel to this one is thick and luxurious, but I've had bigger stouts. It's also a bit oily from the barrel conditioning, though it doesn't effect the overall presentation of the beer.

O: Firestone-Walker's Parabola is a wonderful and masterfully balanced Russian Imperial Stout. I feel that with some age, this could be one of the best RIS's in my cellar.

Without question, Parabola is in the upper echelon of the style. I highly recommend seeking it out.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Fremont and Reuben's Brew small snifters. A long awaited mini vertical of the original bottling (2010) and the fresh 2014 vintage. The older bottle was properly cellar aged. Both were similar in appearance: a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a thin, patchy light brown head, slightly more foam on the newer bottle.
2010: Aroma dominated by bourbon and oak, with vanilla, dark malt, dark dried fruit. Flavor is sweet dark toasted malt with a hint of char, chocolate, vanilla, dark dried fruit; finishes with the most amazing cocoa aftertaste similar to finishing a spiked glass of hot chocolate, bourbon. Remarkable and warming. Medium creamy bodied. The initial flavor is beautifully balanced between the chocolate flavors, malt and bourbon, but the bourbon and chocolate eventually dominate the finish. Delicious.

2014: Aroma of toffee, vanilla, bourbon soaked dried dark fruit, faint dark malt. Flavor follows, dominated by toffee, vanilla and bourbon, supported by dark toasted malt and dark dried fruit flavors, finishing boozy with caramel bourbon. Medium bodied with creaminess. Quite a different flavor profile from the aged one, the older version really emphasizing chocolate and whiskey (not quite as identifiable and bourbon) and the newer one brighter with toffee, vanilla and lighter fruit as well as the dark dried fruit. The newer one is slightly less sweet.

The aged Parabola has virtually no signs of oxidation at all, which in my experience is unusual with stouts, and one of the reasons I'm aging fewer stouts in favor of barley wines these days. Except for the wonderful balance and integration of flavors, it is not possible for me to tell this is 4 years old, it has aged wonderfully. I deeply regret not aging more of these now and with this very tough to find on the market now, it appears to be unlikely that it will be easy to find additional bottles for the cellar any more.

This is a stout that completely lives up to its hype. Excellent and very different fresh. Apparently with many, many years left for aging. A masterpiece.

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Photo of aasher
4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage courtesy of BrewerB, thanks Brian! This beer pours a medium bodied dark chocolate brown in color with a one finger dark kahki head. It smells of sweet milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted malts, sweet vanilla, toffee and creamed coffee. It tastes of bitter chocolates, coffee with cream, a lot of oak, and bourbon. It's a pretty well integrated blend. It drinks very smoothly and isn't as viscous as a lot of imperial stouts. It's overly drinkable for the style and pretty approachable. The bourbon is there but kind of mellow. If I were to not pick I'd say it could he stronger but its not a big deal. Overall this is a fine beer and definitely worth trying. Kudos to FW for making this so available.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a very dark brown with maroonish brown highlights that had a very thin head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass. Upfront I detected cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, slight roastiness and bourbon for sure is coming through. it definitely has booze but faint dark fruit notes. The bourbon and the chocolate flavors mesh beautiful alongside oat grains, a little coffee roasty character, vanilla from the barrel and seems to have cocoa nib accents. I gotta say its pretty hot and probably could do well with time. The brew was full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, boozy, silky, and chewy finish; pretty damn thick. It drank pretty good considering the ABV and was very delicious. I'm glad I have one for the cellar to compare.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

Pours nearly, but not quite, jet-black; with a small, frothy tan head that settles rather quickly. Minimal patchy lace.

Aroma of bourbon, certainly, and accompanying vanilla; fudgy chocolate, roasted, charred notes; caramel. Complex flavor has a bit of sweetness and stickiness; fairly bourbon forward; some heat that has been tamed to a pleasant level by age; caramel, chocolate, burnt sugar, vanilla, charred malt, oak, traces of dark fruits underneath; raisins, dates, and figs.

Medium-full bodied but not viscous; medium-low carbonation. Smooth, creamy, and delicious. Not the biggest or most over-the-top barrel aged stout but one of the most well-balanced and drinkable, certainly. Would love to see what a longer cellaring would bring about.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.72/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reserve series #003. 12.5%abv. 2012 vintage.

A: Dark hersey chocolate pour is a pitch black in the vessel accompanied by golden micro-beads of carbonation slowly rising to build up the creamy, dark khaki head that sits stubbonly about with no where to go. Decent lace coverage.

S: Nice wiff of whiskey upon first uncapping gives you a good indication for what follows on the nose. Whiskey laced smooth chocolate malts appear with a slight smoky and charred nature of woodiness. Burnt licorice and burbon soaked dark fruit are always welcomed with roasted barley and a scorched toffee sweetness that balances just right.

T: The flavor is even more endearing. Whiskey heavy with bitter dark chocolate and licorice first pops out. Flashes of sweet scorched toffee offers balance and sweetness with a soothing campfire minerality of burnt grains and currant. Burbon touch of dark fruitiness comes about while the alcohol still is shy, feeling much lower then its advertised 12.5%abv which is just fine with me, it just shows how well and clean as smooth this beer really is on the next level. Smooth earthy and silty bitterness follows the swallow along with some freshly brewed french roast.

M: Luscious mouthful, silky thick and creamy from the oats with a warming of whisky and vanilla coffee bean ease. Amazing bite of earthy dark bitterness covers the tongue.

O: Overall this beer is certainly on a level above most others and a 1% by style. For such a dark and high abv beer this comes off amazingly smooth, refined, balanced and is so deliciously inviting i feel i can continue much longer then the bomber should allow me to. Was literally awestruck from the first sip to the last, kept my attention and excitment thoughout with vocal explanations thrown around as to its heavenly nature. I dont hand out 5's to often but really couldnt find much else i would rather see here that could make this any more enjoyable except for another bottle in hand. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beertunes
3.47/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I know that this is a highly rated and sought after beer, but for me, it just didn't meet the hype. It was the expected black, but had no head. The aroma was subdued to the point of blandness. Some grainy malt, a whisper of roast and a solid alcohol scent.

The flavors weren't any bolder or more well-defined. The body was decent although much thinner than typical, which did help with drinkability. Overall, a good but not great beer. A relative disappointment from FW, a brewery I think very highly of.

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Photo of Derek
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love Imperial Stouts, but I'm often not a fan of the really big ones... the one's that are so over-the-top they're not even drinkable for a couple of years. Thankfully, this is not one of those. This one has been tamed by a year in a barrel.

A: Black with a tan head. Leaves a thin ring around the glass and has a nice leg.

S: Big alcohol aroma, like a barrel-aged sherry. Hints of molasses, licorice, roasted nut and dark sponge toffee.

T: The alcohol is up front, but in an extremely pleasing way... like a fine port or sherry. Plenty of molasses, bakers chocolate, light licorice, a little rum, vanilla, sponge toffee, roasted nut, solid bitterness. Well done.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate-to-full body, modest carbonation, slightly oily, hint of roasted acidity, drying alcohol finish.

D/O: A divine sipper. A beer this big really does need some age, they used a barrel... and they did it well.

Now I wish I had saved this for my 2000th review. What an epic brew.

Huge thanks to Rutager for picking this one up!

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,079 ratings.