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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,677 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3677
Reviews: 921
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 8.26%


Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged for 8 months in circa 1990's Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

2011
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]

(Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,677 | Reviews: 921 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #700

7/2/2010

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 04:45:29 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this.

Poured into ccb snifter

Pours a light layer of brown head. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Oak, vanilla, whiskey, coffee, chocolate, and light cherry flavors.

Taste: I get more of a bourbon flavor here instead of the whiskey I picked up in the nose. Dark chocolate, very sweet. Roasted malts, oak, vanilla, cherries, raisins, and coffee. Just a tad boozy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends warm and a bit dry, but clean.

Overall, a very nice imp stout. Good -bal aging notes. Good flavors and the drinkability is nice on this one. Solid stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 19:48:09 | More by mothman
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very dark amber highlights and a very light amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger tall dark tan to mocha head that quickly reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of bourbon, oak, and vanilla along with some light to moderate notes of chocolate. There are some very light hints of alcohol in the aroma as well.

T: Upfront there is a strong flavor of chocolate, caramel, and coffee - the chocolate is more of a dark chocolate, a bittersweet chocolate. There is a moderate to strong flavor of bourbon, vanilla, and oak with just a hint of coconut towards the finish. There are light notes of roasted malts and vinous notes. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Velvety smooth with a light amount of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: This beer is very enjoyable with a great amount of complexity to both the taste and the smell - this makes it a great sipping beer that is best slowly enjoyed... The beer smells much stronger than it tastes but the alcohol is not overly present in the flavor. The beer continues to smooth out as it warms and the complexity increases.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 02:01:06 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 01:40:52 | More by Derek
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip 9/5/12 a big thank you to Rutager for the bottle 2011 vintage

A shes black right out of the bottle with just a little cola at the edge, two fingers of dense mocha foam quickly falls to a thin film and only leaves a couple little spots of lace

S dark bakers chocolate, vanilla, smokey woody notes, boozy bourbon, dark chocolate covered fruit, raisins, a little licorice and molasses, this one covers a large spectrum of dark roasts. Only some booze keeps this one from perfection

T even more boozy woody bourbon notes with just a little sweet black coffee, slightly more dark fruity notes then I could smell. A little tobacco on the finish but it still has everything from the nose in one form or another, amazing complexity, one year isn't enough age for the 12.5% however but its a minor complaint

M stuck in your teeth thick with just enough carbonation too give it some life, leaves my mouth with a slight tingle and a lingering strong aftertaste, just a little sticky on the lips and the booze hits my chest before my throat somehow

O I'd bet another couple years would help this one hit perfection in nearly every area, my only complaint is it's still a little boozy but considering how strong this one is I should expect it, wonderful beer that everyone should seek out

I can't thank Rutager enough for this one its just great. I tried to age this one but it was taunting me from its little box telling me I didn't have another to gauge the aging progress so I should crack it, so I did.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 06:03:30 | More by wordemupg
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

interested in some of these 24oz/651ml bottles people are talking about - mine is the standard 22oz/650ml!

2012 vintage

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, ebony body, aggressive pour yields a 1/2" mocha head, some nice lace

smell: very big and rich - bourbon, dark chocolate, chocolate cake

taste: This is a massive stout, and the 2012 vintage is drinking MUCH better than the 2011 bottle I consumed a few weeks ago. Dense chocolate cake, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, coconut. The barrel aging delivers a lot of booze and vanilla, but very little wood - would have liked to see that in more balance.

mouthfeel: full bodied, rich, decadent, bourbon heat lingers

overall: epic stuff, obviously

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 22:30:25 | More by dirtylou
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 21:07:55 | More by beertunes
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Exiled who sent me this one in a trade LONG ago! Batch #1, 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured pitch black with a half finger light tan head that subsided to basically none fairly quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol, wood, and greatness. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, milk chocolate, and dark fruit. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fantastic brew. How in the Hell have I never tried this before!? The aromas and flavors in this brew are ridiculously good and very well balanced. When I saw that it weighed in at 13% I was afraid this one would pound me in the face with alcohol, but that was not the case. Allowing this one to sit in my cellar all this time has definitely worked its magic to subdue the alcohol. Absolutely a must try if you have not done so before. Might have to crack my 2011 to compare in the near future…

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 17:48:54 | More by thagr81us
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a small chocolate brown to tan head. In the aroma, mellow but nice bourbon notes. In the taste, chocolate like roast with a bourbon end, and vanilla and oak presence all the way through. A boozy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oaky vanilla and bourbon like aftertaste. Big bourbon presence, with a nice stout underneath it all.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 20:13:31 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a decent tan head. Rich, rather sweet aroma has notes of sweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. Mouth filling flavor has semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and molasses tones plus hints of honey and fresh-cut wood. Smooth, fizzy texture has plenty of body.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2012 20:31:53 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, No1 so 2010, with black wrap that has a tag to pull on...cool idea and it works nicely. I also like the amount of info on the label re the beer.

A light hiss when I popped the cap, this straight from the fridge bottle and a slow pour still brought a good inch of tan foam. The lacing department worked overtime as there's ton of it.

Still being cold, the smell is somewhat subdued. I'll come back to it later.

The taste will, no doubt, also improve during warm up but...man...there's a ton of flavour here already. It's roasty, has some coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, a hint or 2 of a fruity sweetness, vanilla kicking in now, and a very tasty bourbon/barrel influence that kicks some major arse.

I'd say, for the abv, uncle Al it isn't too noticeable tastewise other than the obvious flavour you get from a barrel aged brew but after the swallow, it gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling. I think I like this stuff. ;^)

The mouthfeel is close to full with a perfect(lightish) amount of carbonation.

Drinkability? No back to backs for me ever with a brew in this abv range but the bottle in front of me is killer for one session. Marvelous.

Back to the smell, it *has* warmed up some and I do get notes of chocolate and vanilla and what barrel aging brings to the table but no way does the smell, imho, do the taste justice. This is one of the best barrel aged Stouts I have tried. Full marks to Firestone!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 22:15:04 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle into a tulip. Parabola is an opaque obsidian color, viscous but well carbonated, topped by an inch of head that slowly recedes to a crown.

The aroma is wonderfully nuanced, roasted malt at balance with notes of dark bittersweet chocolate, spicy black licorice, mellow spirits and fruity red wine. Alcohol is noticeable, but just barely.

Bold flavors of dark chocolate, rich molasses, sweet whiskey and black licorice hit the taste buds first. There's a slight fruity, vinous quality to it as well, enhanced by a light tannic astringency. Barrel aging makes its presence known without overwhelming the complexities of the base beer, which has not always been the case in past iterations of this beer; this is clearly the most balanced batch of Parabola yet out of those I've tried. It has a hefty, chewy texture with a firm lingering roasted bitterness that clings to the tongue after a few sips and doesn't let go. Sweetness is reserved, at a perfect balance with the bitterness and tannins. The more I drink this, the more impressed I am. I've tried several batches of this beer over the years, some aged entirely in bourbon barrels, others in rye whiskey barrels, some a blend of different components. This one really nails it; the balance, nuance and delicacy make it my favorite batch yet. Thankfully, it's the one we finally got in bottles.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 04:40:41 | More by largadeer
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle of the 2011 vintage courtesy of RWNewhouse, thanks a ton Ryan for this one! Pours very black, no highlights. Small tan head, even with an aggressive pour. Modest lacing.

Nose is lots of chocolaty bourbon with some secondary aromas of vanilla and raspberries. Smells soft and beautiful, I cant wait to indulge in this one.

Powerful bourbon-wood-vanilla combo with a balanced sweetness and drying finsh from lots of alcohol and a fair amount of leafy hops. The barrel treatment is very evident and the alcohol is pretty well integrated. Gets better as it warms, I'd be hard pressed to have to choose between this and BCBS. Its not as rich, sweet or boozy and the mouthfeel is thinner. But it is less hot and more integrated out of the gate. Whereas I can see BCBS aging well for at least 5 years, with Parabola I am not sure if any time in the cellar would be beneficial. Tasty as shit though, I like it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 02:47:00 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. O.G. 30 P, 13% ABV, 80 IBU, British Ale House yeast, 1000 cases produced, 167 SRM, no date.

Thanks to the ever-generous Beerwolf77 who gets his jollies off reading these little quips I write about him when he shares his epic stash. There's a reason you're my #1 ninja Todd!

A - Did it actually get darker in the room when we poured this? It's totally black. No light comes through at all. Inky oil with a dark tan head. Lower retention isn't surprising from the alcohol. Not a whole lot of lace. Still epic looking.

S - Smooth, supple bourbon and notes of oak with a drop of vanilla kick the nose off right. A little molasses and roasted malts follow up. The alcohol is penetrating my nostrils the more I smell it though. So awesome.

T - Smooth, rich, and very coffee forward with fantastic notes of vanilla and oak. Bourbon is there but not overly powerful. Not a whole lot of raging alcohol either. Chocolate and cocoa come through in the back end. Perfection in flavor.

M - Strong, full-bodied, and rich, it's smooth and slightly boozy. Very warm on the finish and a little bit dry. Mouthfeel is near perfection.

D - So good, this is one of the best beers out there for the style I'd wager. Fantastic flavor and mouthfeel. Still highly drinkable despite the slightly noticeable, but well-balanced alcohol. Delish! Thanks Todd!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 22:45:16 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chris sent me a couple of these. Thanks, dogg!

Pouring jet black, this beer glugs from the bottle with an oily consistency. A dense, dark brown head, iridescent and long-lived is present, leaving little lace. The nose is just excellent. Right off the bat, I get decadent chocolate brownies, but as it breathes, the malt complexity really shines. Molasses , roast, grainy bitterness are all present, along with a little licorice. The barrel character is delicious. Toasted coconut, bourbon, vanilla are present in wonderful harmony, working well with the base stout. Sweetness is discernible with some caramel and toffee, but there's a mild charred malt bitterness to balance it out.

My oh my! What a wonderful beverage! The dark chocolate and coffee fudge character again open up the palate with the bourbon, coconut and vanilla following. Caramel sweetness, a little toffee and molasses are also present. Alcohol is wonderfully hidden, I would not guess this was 13%. However, the light spiciness that the alcohol brings pairs very well with the heavily caramelized sugars, reminding me in some ways of pumpernickel bread. The finish is long lasting, with a blend of dark chocolate, bourbon and coconut. Very, very well-balanced, this is truly wonderful stuff. Maybe some dark fruit too? The mouthfeel is incredible, with a big body that never gets tiring, moderate carbonation which, surprisingly, works. A decadent finish, I do get a little char as well. Exceptional stuff, this is going to be a fun two hours with this beer. And two hours later, I could still go fore more of this. Wonderful stuff.

In some ways, it reminds me of the FiftyFifty Imperial Eclipse Stout that was aged in Elijah Craig barrels. Paired with rum and amaretto truffles from RMCF, this is truly wondrous. The nuttiness of the amaretto works harmoniously with the coconut character from the barrel, making this one of the better pairings I've conceived.

**Edit 28 Nov 2011**
I'm drinking my last batch of batch 2. The only other time I drank this batch was earlier this summer on a very drunken night.
At cellar temperature, I'm astounded by how hoppy this beer is. There's a lot of English hop character here, with a fairly high bitterness and leafy character noticeable. In addition, this batch has a lot more licorice character than I remember the first batch having, with a mild anise-like spiciness. Dark honey, a moderate bourbon character with vanilla and toasted coconut. The stout base is pretty nice too, with unsweetened baker's chocolate, molasses and licorice. The palate has all of the flavors the nose would suggest in a nice balance. Hoppy bitterness is strong on the finish, melding with the coconut and vanilla as well as some grainy bitterness. Moderately sweet as well, this has some dark caramel and candy sweetness on the mid-palate. A little less fudge-like and with more licorice and anise than I remember the first bottled batch having, this is an excellent stout. I want to drop my scores a hair, but I can't find a fair way of doing that, so my scores will stand for now.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 01:30:04 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rhertan for sharing this one.

Pours pitch black out of the bottle with light mahogany around the edges. There is a small creamy tan head that recedes quickly to a thin collar and leaves no lacing but some sticky legs along the sides.

The aroma is fantastic dark chocolate, coffee, lots of dark fruits including raisins and plums. There is also some tobacco, spicy oak and vanilla beans.

The taste is wonderful as well. There is plenty of dark chocolate and tobacco. Also lots of dark fruits, vanilla and caramel. The finish leaves a slight alcohol burn though nothing to indicate the 13% abv.

Super smooth mouthfeel, full bodied with soft carbonation. Spicy oak and tobacco in the finish.

Decadent, complex, outstanding. There's so much going on in this one and it all comes together in one fairly drinkable package.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 03:12:00 | More by gford217
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:56:17 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with Agent Zero...I drank this from a 750ml bottle into my Rochefort glass...The beer pours jet oil black with a light tan head. Rises about two fingers but falls pretty quickly, light lacing...The aroma is nice medium strength, dominated by lots of really nice coffee not strong just yummy roastiness with a sweet cream finish....The first sip is lots of coffee nice like the aroma. As this warms it really starts to bring out the bourbon which is sweet and warming. Light coffee on the front, sweet in the middle, light bitter coffee finish. Not 50 ibu's...The feel is nice, coats the palate nicely, very warm finsih. Pretty easy drinker.

Overall, this is ok. Drink it quickly because as you drink it, its worse. It becomes flatter, less flavor and more alcoholic.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 22:14:53 | More by jrallen34
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dark tan head. Good head retention.

Somewhat sweet aroma with plenty of coffee. Nice liquorice and bourbon oak. THe wood character is nicely integrated.

Plenty of sweetness again with a nice, earthy wood character. The coffee and cocoa add nice complexity. The balance is nice and a hint of fruit adds a touch of complexity. Very nice.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. A little over-carbonated for my tastes.

Parabola is a pretty classic BA stout. There is lots of sugar, coffee and bourbon with a nice oakiness too. Really good and delightful despite some minor flaws.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 10:05:05 | More by dgilks
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to wolffman17 for sharing this with me and several other BA's.

A: Pours opaque black. No light gets through at all. A small tan head forms, but recedes in a minute. Light lace. Head and lacing are to be expected for the ABV, but this looks menacing.
S: An excellent aroma of toasted malt, sweet toffee, dark chocolate. Light vanilla and oak. Light dark fruits of figs, plums, and raisins. Very soft, but nuanced.
T: A great toasted malt flavor. Big dark chocolate, vanilla, and slightly woody flavors. Soft doughy and brownie like. Light dark fruits that follow the nose. Just excellent.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Though not under carbonated at all. Soft, creamy, smooth, and velvety. So easy and smooth to drink. The alcohol is almost non existent.

For such a huge beer, this is incredibly nuanced and subtle. I can't get enough of this. All around excellent, and highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 02:37:06 | More by champ103
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

draft, pizzeria paradiso alexandria

a: served in a snifter, appears a leathery brown-black in color, a nice khaki head gives a slow fall to a slim ring

s: an incredibly dense and sticky aroma - molasses and dark sugars, dark chocolate, dried dark fruits, hints of espresso, and a strong current of boozy liquor barrel, vanilla, just awesome

m: excellent mouthfeel - full but balanced on the palate, rich but not too thick, carbonation a smooth moderate

t: a graceful monster of a flavor with seamlessly combined flavors of rich malts and a full vanilla-bearing liquor barrel influence, deep silky chocolate, espresso, molasses, and loads of leathery-sweet dark fruits, hugely complex, lovely lingering finish

o: this one fully lives up to the hype and is worth seeking out, a luscious treat but still ridiculously drinkable

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2013 03:08:47 | More by blackie
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trade with MrMiles about 4 months ago, but now that it's getting cold outside it feels proper to try it. A 13% bomber, this had to be shared with my wife. Strong stuff.

It pours a dark brown-black color with a thin tan head, about 1cm or less. The aroma is just about perfect, rich and complex, with all sorts of delicious bourbon throughout. Vanilla, toffee, roasted malts, bourbon and alcohol, everything is there in an inviting package.

It tastes just as I'd hoped strong and worth of attention. There's so much going on that it's best to sip this beer, plus it gives the feeling of high ABV with each sip. Brown sugar or molasses, robust roast, licorice, everything's in there. Thick and a little burning, you taste each sip for a long time. Excellent, maybe even a little overpowering.

This is absolutely worth its hype, a very good bourbon stout, I would be very happy to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 23:08:30 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle into a La Chouffe tulip. Gigantic thanks to Hopstoopid120 for bringing this long-anticipated want by NEBCO while I was canning up some homebrew.

A: Pretty f-ing black, with a finger of creamy light-brown foam. Good retention, spotty lace. Very attractive, especially for being an enormous 13%.

S: Gigantic chocolate, with more than a hint of chocolate-covered cherry. The wine barrels really add some serious complexity, but this is all about the rich, sweet, chocolatey malt. Significant, but acceptable booze.

T: Mmmm. Chocolate, vanilla, molasses, cherry, wine, tannins, and more chocoate. Huge, sweet, lightly boozy finish. Truly spectacular in its sheer decadence.

M: Creamy, full, and well-carbonated. Insanely good.

O: Holy crap, that's a beer. I can't imagine drinking a whole bottle, what with the intense sweetness and alcohol, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't like to have a small snifter of this with dessert every single night. I love eating chocolate and drinking a robust red wine, and this beer was like that but amplified and melded into pure liquid nirvana.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 12:53:30 | More by woosterbill
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a creamy fluffy coffee colored head that sticks around for a bit. Smells of coffee, chocolate, licorice, with hints of vanilla, oak, sweet bourbon and alcohol. Thick like maple syrup body has a creamy smooth mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. Wow this one has some residual sugars that's for sure. Taste starts out with licorice and chocolate but they are assaulted with bourbon, vanilla and oak very quickly. Coffee and chocolate step in but disappear as the whole thing turns into an oddly dry finish. Long lingering alcohol heat and earthy hop bite rolled in roasted grains. This is a big beer that is tasty. I find it a bit hot in the finish, I'm curious to see what a little age does to this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 23:41:15 | More by johnnnniee
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drpimento

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let this bottle warm some out of the fridge. Poured with a tan, smallish head and a little lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is mild, malt, roast, wine, yeast, dates, figs. Flavor's like nose, bittersweet up front, enough carbonic tang to balance. Finish is boozy and the alcohol is striking. killer brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 04:33:16 | More by drpimento
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,677 ratings.