Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 4,491 | Reviews: 983 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev -10.4%
2011 vintage. Reviewed from notes.
A: Deep, dark brown. No light gets through. Sticky lacing present.
S: Lots of roasted chocolate with some bourbon notes as well in the smell.
T: Not as bourbon forward as expected. Lots of chocolate and roasted maltiness that finishes with a slight bourbon finish.
M: Thick and syrupy. Just the right amount of carbonation.
O: A good BA stout. Not my favorite. I wish it was a little more bourbon forward.
12-06-2011 20:43:29 | More by camil1mj
4.03/5 rDev -12.6%
Poured from a 22oz bottle to a snifter. 2011 vintage.
A: Dark dark black, almost opaque. When you sip, you can see a hint of reddish brown at the edges. Nice, surprisingly hefty dark tan head. Oh, and did I mention how thick this beer looks when it pours? I've had a fair few thick brews in my day, but this is one of the thickest pours I've seen in a while.
S: All the usual suspects are there: dark chocolate, roasted coffee notes, a bit of sweetness, more coffee, alcohol, and did I mention coffee? And alcohol. Kinda screams "hot mess". But there's something else there that I can't quite put my finger on. Hmmm...
T: Star anise, that's the mystery smell! And hot damn does it come out in the taste as well. I've never heard the term "licorice bomb", but this beer deserves it every bit as much as Stone's anise impy stout, although this beer does a better job of balancing it with other flavors, particularly a roastiness that almost reminds me of charcoal, along with the usual dark chocolate. Not much sweetness, though, which is fine by me-I prefer my stouts bitter rather than sweet. Still, I'd prefer it if the licorice wasn't quite so overpowering. Of course, the bourbon comes through as well, and here lies one of the strengths of this beer. It seems tough to get the bourbon to come through in a bold and distinct manner without overpowering the beer itself, but Firestone pulls it off well with this brew. Unfortunately, either from the bourbon or the high abv of this beer, the alcohol flavor is pretty strong as well. I actually like a light alcohol flavor more than most folks seem to, but this is a little much for me. Maybe some time will mellow it out a bit. Good thing I've got another bottle to age!
M: This is where this beer really shines. Just unbelievably thick and viscous. It coats the tongue well enough that you taste it for a while. Despite the generous head and nice lacing, the carbonation is barely noticeable, which works with the thick, creamy texture of the beer. This beer might have the best mouthfeel of any beer I've had excepting Caldera's Mowgli. Outstanding.
O: Maybe it's the hype, or the fact that I have such fond memories of the small sample I had a couple of years ago at the Portland International Beerfest, but this was a bit of a disappointment, though only a bit. It's still a great beer, but there are better beers out there that are both cheaper and easier to find.
12-06-2011 07:03:16 | More by eatabagofbooger
3.98/5 rDev -13.7%
Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Paid $14.95 at Corvallis Brewing Supply, the most I have ever expended for any beer.
A-Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through this beauty. A two finger, dark tan head slowly recedes into a modest lace.
S-Alcohol from the bourbon barrels is the predominant aroma. Very fragrant. Vanilla and raisin notes are also present.
T-This is definitely a bourbon stout, and probably deserves its own style classification, as it is very different from non-bourbon barreled double stouts. I admit it is not my thing. Bourbon whiskey from 90 days aging in bourbon barrels is the most dominant flavor profile. However, there are some very nice stout beer flavors in the background like brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and dried fruits, especially raisins. Taste definitely improves as it warms, and becomes very sweet. The alcohol adds to the flavor rather than detracts from it.
M-A bit too astringent from the alcohol and too thin for style, i.e., not nearly luxuriant enough.
O-This is a decent beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. Didn't live up to the hype for me.
12-05-2011 02:53:37 | More by velosuds
4.47/5 rDev -3%
2011 bottle poured into Bruery tulip.
A - Dark black. Can't see through it. Light brown head that instantly recedes. No lacing.
S - Vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, coconut, alcohol.
T - Chocolate, cherry, vanilla, bourbon, roastyness, honey, and biscuit malt. Vinous qualities are present as well.
M - Thick, almost syrupy. The carbonation is the only thing keeping this from being alcoholic chocolate syrup.
O - Wow! A great RIS.
12-04-2011 07:06:45 | More by Cinderbike
4.38/5 rDev -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.
12-03-2011 22:39:38 | More by John_M
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,491 ratings.