Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 4,468 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +5.2%
05/14/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. 2013 vintage. The first sip is like an innocent kiss & then it's too late. You find you have a tiger by the tail...or should I say it's got you. There's so much going on in the glass it's difficult to home in on where to start. Each sip is different from the last & they are spiraling upwards until you reach a plateau of familiarity that has simplified all the complexities of aroma & flavors that make up this admirable brew & you start to feel at home & very comfortable.
Not for the faint of heart (or anyone driving). I found myself sipping at a leisurely pace for 1) enjoyment 2) preservation of the potion, as it's a rare find & 3) self preservation. The 12.5% ABV, although present in every sip, never let's on that this is for adults only. Think of it as an encounter on a plane trip, sitting next to some extremely attractive & engaging person & your smitten. It's a short lived experience & most likely once in a lifetime. Because of that, all feelings are multiplied & enhanced, in memory, by distance from the moment.
Do yourself a big, big flavor favor & make some time for this indulgence. If you do I guarantee your self esteem will improve based on that decision alone.
08-08-2014 15:46:30 | More by seedyone
5/5 rDev +8.5%
The owner of Brookland Pint, DC's newest beer bar, really pulled out all the stops for the draft list on its grand opening this week. It was packed with rarities, many from the West Coast, like 2013 Speedway Stout, FW Stickee Monkee and Parabjava, and even a keg of "G'Dale" from Oskar Blues Brewing ( a blend of Dale's Pale and G'Knight). Now, these all sounded fantastic, but when I saw they had 2013 Firestone Walker Parabola, I felt compelled by the higher forces of beer geekery to FINALLY have what many consider to be the finest barrel-aged stout in the land.
Appearance: Pitch black, thin light tan head of less than one finger. Nothing astonishing about the appearance, other than some serious alcohol legs.
Smell: Huge oak and bourbon, some dark fruit (figs) and vanilla. This aroma only intensifies as the beer warms, becoming more noticeably chocolatey--and alcoholic--than it was at first pour.
Taste: Just insane. Massive vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate, with the bourbon essence really shining. A light espresso bean roastiness is mixed in there with a truly gorgeous amount of subtlety. Flavors keep changing as I drink. Sloshing the beer around in the sides of my mouth produces a flavor that is much more overtly chocolatey. The alcohol is present in the flavor, but it adds some spicy-sweet complexity to the flavor profile. As with the nose, so with taste; as it warms up, this beer evolves nicely, gaining a more pronounced brown sugar-molasses type sweetness. After about 45 minutes, this beer is at its true peak. So sip it slowly!
Mouthfeel: Velvet smooth, thick and full bodied (thanks to the oats, no doubt). The alcohol warmth is mild and not accompanied by any burn.
08-21-2014 12:42:39 | More by hagbergl
4.5/5 rDev -2.4%
2011 bottle that is jet black with brown hues on the edge. There is minimal carb. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick. Not a big chewy body on this one. It's really smooth and there is still a little bit of heat on this that warms the mouth. No real standout flavor for me. There's some roast, oak, and vanilla but the bourbon is the spotlight. Outstanding BA stout.
08-18-2014 14:10:39 | More by PHBoiler
4.54/5 rDev -1.5%
Thanks to eyebereej for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a Peg's snifter.
A: Pours essentially black and opaque. With streams of bubbles coming up the sides of the glass, it forms a thin tan head that fades fairly quickly. 4.5/5
S: Rich bourbon, heavily roasted malts, oak tannins, some vanilla from the oak, cacao, and dark sticky fruits. Very nice aroma. 19/20
T: Sticky roasted malts, chocolate malts, bourbon up front. Some charred oak, cacao, vanilla, and rum-raisin sweetness. This is complex to the point I feel like there's trouble pulling everything out. It develops some cola character as it warms as well. It finishes sweet and sticky with some hop bitterness as well. 41/45
M: Sticky mouthfeel, but a body that is of average weight for style. This isn't one of those crazy-thick imperial stouts. The alcohol is actually pretty well-restrained, or at least integrated, for style. Average carbonation sensation. 8.5/10
O: This was a very, very good beer. Truly deserves its reputation. I didn't pull anything out of the flavors to suggest the oatmeal in the mash. But otherwise, no real complaints. Recommended, of course. 19/20
Estimated final score: 4.54
Calculated final score: 92/100
Old BA score: 4.60
08-17-2014 23:09:22 | More by macrosmatic
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,468 ratings.