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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ParabolaParabola

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,643 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,643
Reviews: 991
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,215
Gots: 2,595 | FT: 187
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,643 | Reviews: 991 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

corby112, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of Axic10
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with a life long friend for his 30th birthday. Split from a 22oz bottle into tulip glasses.

Appearance: Deep dark blackness with a finger and a half of smooth mocha colored head.

Smell: Great nose. Hints of bold roasted coffee, dark chocolate, fudge brownie, vanilla, oak and some booze.

Taste: Following the nose, sweet chocolate and vanilla, oak, fudge, and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and extremely creamy. Does not seem like it is over 7%.

Overall: Wow, I've been impressed with every Firestone Walker beer I've had so far, but this one blew the rest out of the water. Glad I have more of it.

Axic10, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of craytonic
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Near black pour with a very nice frothy mocha head initially that quickly fades, no retention or lacing

Smell: Chocolate-brownie with a a touch of coffee; raisins and dates behind it; perhaps some toffee and a bit of vanilla also

Taste: Very chocolate-fudgey with creamy coffee on the finish; slightly hot. Touches of brandy, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla and oak. Despite the boozy heat there is not a large bourbon presence.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth; but a bit thinner than expected. Probably due to the high ABV

Overall: Well balanced and well done, although the high ABV makes it a bit hot and thin, keeping the score from breaking 4.5. I greatly prefer it to any of the anniversary blends.

craytonic, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of Lunch
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a couple trades from some generous BAs, thanks!

Served in my Firestone Walker snifter because I can. Pour is pretty much black with a nice amount of creamy tan head that leaves some sticky lace.

Smell is perfect with notes of chocolate, bourbon, oak, coconut and some roasted nuttiness. Slight hint of vanilla and perhaps a flutter of bitter chocolate. Taste is much of the same and this thick beverage is not lacking in flavor, mouthfeel, or drinkability. I could drink this bitch all day long.

One of the best BA Imperial Stouts around. Highly recommended.

Lunch, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of sidetracked
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with an attractive, thin, medium-brown head that lingers around the edges.

Bourbon is prominent in the smell, mixing with bitter roasted malts, wood, and bitter chocolate.

The taste upfront is sweet brown sugar, molasses, and bourbon. More bitterness starts coming through in the middle--bitter chocolate intermingles with the bourbon. Really good sweet/bitter mix at the end. Lingering bitterness.

Full bodied with a light chewiness. Syrupy with light carbonation--but enough to keep it drinkable. Slightly dry finish. No alcohol heat.

Really great balance of bourbon and roastyness. The aroma is heavier on bourbon than the taste, allowing for a great dynamic flavor that isn't overwhelmed by the bourbon.

12/17/2010

sidetracked, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of Gtreid
4.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Another thanks to urwithdave for breaking this one out. Bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Almost black, but with small ruby highlights around the edges. Minimal head fades to a thin rim.

A: Chocolate, vanilla, wood, and char, with bourbon. Woody notes, with an earthy hop undertone.

T: More chocolate and bourbon. Slight char with vanilla and earth. The barrel is not overpowering letting the base beer shine through. Finishes sweet with a very appearant alcohol burn.

M: Heavy body, light carbonation as expected with this brew.

D and overall impression: Couldn't have very much of this one, my 6 oz. pour was enough. Overall, I thought it was good, not great. The booziness was just a little too much for my taste. Maybe a little more age would mellow the flavors a bit. Skal.

Gtreid, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.
Reserve Series No. 001

A - Pours a gorgeous ink color with some slight ruby hints on the edges. There is a nice 1 inch head that is quite tight with some nice medium bubbles scattered around. The head is nice and tan colored.

S - Sweet molases start off with some nice slight roasted espresso hints. Some burnt notes and a real nice and intense woody oak aroma. There is some nice perceived grassy hop notes also on the nose that compliment the sweetness and roasted quite well.

T & M - Starts off with sweet molasses and sweet booze. The sweetness is delicious with carmel notes and some slight chocolate notes. It is not too intense and quite enjoyable. There is dark chocolate sweetness and bitterness as well mixed in well with some mild coffee roast that is quite complimentary and balances the sweetness well. There is some Bourbon and vanilla notes in there as well as some nice dry woody oak notes. The body is nice and oily with some velvety feel to it. There is a nice slightly hopy bitter finish but there is also a nice sweet and sticky after taste.

D - The ABV is high and a bit present. Especially as it warms but it is a delicious stout and quite a treat. I wouldn't mind having another one.

JoEBoBpr, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Live reviews are fun, but it's time to clean this one up. Parabola is a crazy good beer. I bought a bottle at Toronado while in San Francisco for vacation

The appearance is beautiful. Exactly the deep rich darkness you want in a barrel ages Russian imperial stout. Typing while drinking, I termed it "Tan head thick pitch black body. Riiich. Like swimming in Africa with ebony and ivory playing on vinyl. Stevie Wonder. I see what you see." I take that to mean it's dark.

The smell is booze, coffee, chocolate and bitter. Quality aroma with complexity that defies any singular element.

The taste is sooo rich. Like a bitter chcolate cake - fudge, coffee, burnt roasty malts, no smoke, just rich rich pure cocoa. Also thick enough and sweet enough that the booze that's present is welcome, even in the finish that come with a bit of hops. The thick body is like dessert, and the only problem is that it's a lot to drink an entire bomber. Which is just what I wound up doing.

All the same, it produced some fun quotes from notes: "will update on comp. I love parabola. Note: male a joke about having this in San Fran wheee the gills are like parabolas"

afksports, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for bringing this to the Inaugural "Imminent Liquidation Bottle Share" Event. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours pitch black with a small cap of half finger tall tan head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving little to no lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark malt, chocolate, vanilla, dulled bourbon heat, and some light charred wood. Good overall balance but nothing too over the top. Solid Stuff.

T - Flavors are similar to the nose. Lots of dark roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and charred oak. The booze is very well hidden, offering only short glimpses of the warming bourbon. Finish is a mix of sweetness and lightly warming heat. Damn, this is one good beer. I might need to get a few bottles of this for myself.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice full feel with some lingering sweet roast in the finish.

D - Very good. I have wanted to try this one for awhile now and now that I have I am impressed. I just wish I would have picked up a few bottles for myself.

orangesol, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

304th review on BA
bottle to NB Globe

Split with GuruDel

App- Almost black with a one finger quick receding head.

Smell- Just like a big Double Stout with some malts, chocolates and suprisingly some faint hops.

Taste- A lot more hoppy than I would have thought. It was quite good, but drinking after the BCBVS was a bad idea. The flavors of Parabola just don't compare. Nice chocolatey taste with subtle malt and more hops for a stout than normal.

Mouth- Big Medium Bodied with a medium carb level. Rich chocolate and some hops.

Drink- Overall, a really great stout. Would suggest to someone to trade/find someone who has one.

FosterJM, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of DNICE555
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split with R Moe Nay on our Wednesday night trailer park boys mandate.

I wanted to test out Galileo's theory that the path of a projectile follows a parabola. ***Caution Spoilers*** After finishing the beer, I aimed my Python at a 45 degree angle. Sure enough the trajectory followed his theory. Great success!!! ***End of Spoliers***

I reeled this one in with my trusty Heady Topper. It better be worth it. The heady topper required a long trek through the treacherous mountains of Vermont all the way to the heavily fortified hideout labeled "The Alchemist."

I poured my 11 oz into a delirium tremens snifter. A viscous black sludge poured out with a creamy tan head. Looks at good as Christina Ricci in black snake moan. The lacing didn't coat the glass but with a little agitation a massive web covered the glass.

Inhaling deeply brought feels of déjà vu. Opening my eyes was the only thing I could think of to bring myself back to reality and out of daydreaming about a small blond girl named Crissy that I knew in college. I would stand across the room from her expelling 98.6 degree frosting which would follow a parabola ending at her chin. Rich dark roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, oak, mild hint of booze.

The taste brings me back to another college experience that actually involves my tasting partner who engulfed a shooter and fell on the floor 5 minutes later. Tastes as good as making out with two chicks in the hot tub. The roasted malts are so big. There is a light licorice, bourbon presence complimenting each other nicely. Then vanilla steps up to the plate, along with oak accents, chocolate, and coffee. Complex, or multifaceted if you aren't into the whole brevity thing.

Smooth, Creamy, Kate Perry, bold, balanced. All words I think of as I swirl this heavenly brew around my mouth.

Bases are loaded on this one and Firestone put one over the fence with this beer. One of my favorite Imperial stouts. 13 percent beers are usually designed to be sippers. I couldn't get enough of this one.

DNICE555, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of newk340
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: a dark mocha pour, very little visible carbonation and an thin tan head.

S: certainly hints of chocolate and vanilla at first with some lingering notes of caramel, malts, and bourbon to round out an absolutely delicious smelling beer.

T: YUM. similar to the smell there was an immediate blast of chocolate and bourbon while undertones of vanilla and toffee took some time to develop.

MF/D: definitely could've drunk the bottle by myself if it were my own (and it wasn't 13%). went down fairly smooth, though some lingering IBU's tickled my tongue. could feel the ABV at the end of my 8oz pour.

newk340, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of BillHilly
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Super black, 1 finger pour, excellent retention for such a high abv.

S: Malt, Vanilla, Cocoa, caramel

T: Dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, plum, molasses

M: Perfect carbonation for this style, extremely smooth.

D: Incredible stout..one of the best of this style by far. I was trying to get more for weeks after initially tasting. It's a must have.

2010 vintage in a Duvel tulip.

BillHilly, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of trodersark
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a really dark BlackBrown, with a caramel two finger head. Excellent retention, head dissipating quite slowly.

S: Immediately smell caramel and vanilla notes, followed by some bourbon and chocolate. I did also smell some roasted malt, but the bourbon/vanilla did it for me.

T: tastes like liquid gold. I can only imagine what this would taste like with age. Taste bourbon/chocolate on first sip (at the front palate) and vanilla and malty notes and the back end.

M: Full bodied brew, not too carbonated, just the way I like a barrel aged stout.

D: Extremeley easy to drink. The alcohol levels don't scream at you whatsoever. Pretty amazing for such a big brew.

trodersark, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer as part of three separate vertical /horizontal tasting events of Firestone Walker Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, & Parabola. All of which took place in the last 4 months. One was at an apartment with beers from my, and a fellow Beer Advocates cellar, the other was at a bottle share at Instant Replay in Canoga Park, CA. The third was hosted & served at Blue Palms in Hollywood, California.

I compiled notes from all three events, before I reviewed this beer here, to be as fair as possible to something that is rare, released once (for each anniversary) sought after, aged, and to a degree hyped as well. Also, each event I had 3-4 oz of each beer, and I felt I needed to try them again to better evaluate them, (also considered storing conditions affecting the beer.) Since I have now had about 9-12 oz of each beer in totality, I feel I can post my humble opinion of them in a review.

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass (was a large Brandy at Blue Palms, but a Bruery Tulip at the other two tastings)

The beer's appearance is a deep black with a foamy cappuccino colored head, which rose about an inch or less, and then quickly faded to a thin carbonated ring, leaving just a tinge of lacing on the sides of the glass.

The scents and aromas on the nose are well integrated, and show off the barrel more than anything. (Also makes you want to smell it for a while before actually tasting it) I get whiffs and notes of oak, caramel, bourbon, and vanilla, as well as some heat, followed by a mild cocoa. I also get some dark chocolate, burnt wood, and coffee. None of these are overpowering, but rather smooth.

The taste was a bit surprising, given the nose. Velvet smooth, roasted chocolate malt, and dark chocolate. (glad I had this with desert) These are much more prominent in the taste; only adding to a well balanced beer if this strong of roasted chocolate flavor can be masked by other notes on the nose. After allowing the beer to warm a bit more, I found the other flavors in the middle, caramel, light oak, bourbon, and heat on the finish. The alcohol is mostly there on the back end.

The mouth feel is full, though light to moderate carbonation. A bit creamy initially, but also viscous and smooth.

Overall, this beer was a great way to end a flight of all these great Firestone Walker beers. Can't say there is a bad one in the bunch. It basically boils down to flavor preference, and freshness to age preference, but these beers are deserving of their recognition, as they are well crafted, complex, and balanced. Glad I still have 3 bottles of Parabola, and I am looking forward to what age does for this beer.

Retsinis, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Up for review is a 650ml bottle of Parbola from Firestone Walker. Poured at cellar temp into a snifter. Bottle was around $15 to $18? Pours near black, thin heady. Lots of whiskey barrel, chocolate, dark roasty malts, molasses, coffee, dark fruits and hops. Body is full, but a bit under carbonated, poor finish. But a great barrel aged stout.

rye726, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of decadance
3.98/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark black, and pleasantly shocked at the amount of tan head this holds and retains through out the glass.

S - Up front you get the bourbon and a bit of brown sugar. While I think there are other smells there, all I can discern is bourbon and sweet.

T - Not my favorite of the evening, but not bad either. Its mainly bourbon on the palate with a some toffee. A bit too sweet to be honest. Borders on Batch 9000 sweetness.

M - This completely coats the palate. Quite pleasant. Just the right about of carbonation. Low, but ideal for the style.

D - Honestly, the abv is a bit high to drink multiples and the sweetness might linger after a couple of these.

decadance, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of beerpirates
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours near-black with a nice tan head that sticks around with a bit of lacing.
S: Very, very nice. The first thing I notice is quite a bit of oak , bourbon , alongside some vanilla , In the background there are notes of chocolate and roasted coffee.
T: Much the same as the nose, but the roasted malt and oak take over a little bit , liquor , vanila , caramel , prunes very sweet and very wel balanced. .
M: Nice and creamy , smooth , oily , Medium to full body.
D: very drinkable , alcohol is present , but i would never have said that this beer is 13% abv , awesome beer !!!

Man o man , a very very nice beer !!!

beerpirates, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of SykDoc
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of brdc, much thanks. Poured from a bottle into a snifter. It pours a basically thick black opaque with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that diminished to a mild over-the-top lacing.

The aroma reminded me of dark chocolate and at cooler temperatures almost bubble gum sweet. Definitely roasted malts with some booze in the nose. There seems to be just a hint of coffee.

The taste has the similar roasted malt/dark chocolate components with a bit of vanilla and some whiskey-like sweetness.

The mouthfeel was medium/full bodied with a slightly weak carbonation. It was smooth and tasty leaving a nice dryness at the finish. A nice texture sits in your throat afterwards.

Overall, this is a good beer. The ABV and mouthfeel combine to make it slightly less drinkable but incredibly good.

SykDoc, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours jet black with one finger of dark head. The head goes away but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some dark chocolate notes coming through.

Taste: This one is quite sweet and roasty with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. The roast is kind of bitter and you can taste the booze at the finish. The booze is a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: The body is somewhat thick and it coats the mouth completely. The finish is dry.

Drinkability: I really like this one. It is quite well balanced and I intend to drink it again some day.

oline73, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of phisigben
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Severed in a snifter

Look - Motor oil black, a finger and a half of very dark mocha colored head. The head lingers for a while and leaves pretty nice lacing.

Smell - Nice bourbon smell but when compared to other -bal aged stouts it is a little faint, it really allows some other subtle aromas like bitter chocolate and some coffee to really shine through.

Taste - The aromas that you get from the nose transfer to the taste very well. I get bourbon with chocolate, dark fruits like fig, a hint of coffee and a little vanilla.

Mouthfeel - I have never had a stout like this just but looking I would think that the mouthfeel would be very think, but in fact it is a medium body with good carbonation. All the while it still has the oily slickness that you look for in stouts.

Drinkability - The 13% alc is present so this is a slow sipper. If this was as available as regular GI BCBS, I could see myself drinking this a lot.

phisigben, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of crossovert
3.98/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage. 650ml black foiled and boxed bottle.

It pours a thick, viscous black with a large dark tan hea that slowly recedes.

The smell is rich and chocolatey, chocolate seems to be the main smell my nostrils are picking up. It is big and luscious with a hint of roastiness. There are notes form the barrel aging with some vanilla and oak.

The flavor is a bit boozier, but very nice. It is chocolate and caramel with a big dose of coffee, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, and alcohol. It isn't ultra-complex at first, but then as you drink more and more of it subtle flavors come out.

The mouthfeel and drinkability could be better, the alcohol is a bit cloying and sweet.

A solid imperial stout from a fantastic brewery.

crossovert, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of stoutfiend27
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber received in the latest the James...you sir are unbelievable...into the duck rabbit snifter

a-thick black pour into the glass...small khaki head that hung on for dear life before fading into a beautiful lacing...bubbles cling to sides of the glass

s-rich whisky and chocolate up front..a little alcohol heat is detectable...some cocoa and fudge...wood and vanilla...wow

t-starts of sweet and rich with bourbon whisky notes...the hops make a very bold statement right after then the waves of oak and vanilla and fudge rush in...followed by some dry cocoa and chocolate...finishes bitter and the chocolate really lingers

m-not as chewy as i would have imagined from the pour and thats why i docked it...the bitterness from the hops really linger on this one...this beer does coat the mouth well...really sticky

d-docked it a bit due to the slight alcohol burn on the way down...however they do mask the 13% very well in this beer...had to much fun enjoying this to have more than one...

overall another superb offering from Firestone and big thanks to James for sending it my way...ill have another down the road hopefully

stoutfiend27, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Leon for sharing this brew on 1/22/11.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with no light shining through as it is held to the light. A thin dark coating of brown head appears across the top. Faint spotty lace clings to the glass with legs. A swirl revives the cap to a thin film.

The aroma of this brew includes the pleasant barrel indication of vanilla. I love that smell in barrel aged beers. Sweet and roasty with indications of chocolate malt overtop of a tingly presence of whiskey. As it warms, notes of coffee, licorice and citrus hops come forward.

The taste includes a vanilla flavor just like the aroma led on. It is roasty with a mild bitterness like unsweetened chocolate mixed with whiskey. There is a tangy hop influence but it is mellow and does not outshine the roasty qualities of this brew. A lingering roastiness resides in the mouth with some earthy coffee notes and a bit of astringent alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew that is lightly carbonated and very smooth drinking. Tons of flavors to enjoy and quite a deep brew. Roasty and bitter with lots of nuances to pick up on. This is a solid example of barrel aging and something I would love to have as a staple in the cellar.

stakem, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a 2.5 finger dark, frothy, mocha head with fantastic retention. Beer pours thick and oily, hiding its carbonation well with a dense, pitch black color. Lacing is stringy and spotty with great stick and thick legs.

S: Nose is vanilla, chocolate, honey, booze, fudge, dark fruit, prunes, plums, and sweet soy sauce. Very aromatic and deep with a heat that complements the other flavors well.

T: Opens maple syrup and a slight bit of toasted malt. Chocolate, vanilla, prunes, and sweet soy sauce in the middle. End is a slight twinge of booze and heat miced with coarse brown sugar. Finish is fudge, chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet soy sauce with a cocoa powder aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Oily and silky in the mouth and very smooth going down. I'd give the feel a 5 just on the finish alone. Super smooth with a pleasant yet subtle aftertaste.

D: For a 13% ABV beer, you can barely taste the heat at all here. Black Tuesday has a lot to learn from this barrel-aged masterpiece. Deliciously full flavored with a feel that's unmatched. Do what it takes to seek this one out. It's worth it.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 29, 2011
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,643 ratings.