Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,489 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,489
Reviews: 1,096
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.01%
Wants: 2,763
Gots: 3,157 | FT: 243
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:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008

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]
View: Beers (84) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,489 | Reviews: 1,096
Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Another big Want brought forth thanks to this BIF. Good times. It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, roasted malts, molasses, very light oak, vanilla, and caramel. The taste holds notes of dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, light vanilla, very light coffee, and an even lighter touch of char. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda chewy feel. Overall, a great impy stout, one that seems to warrant the hype it receives. Get some.

Photo of jonvan04
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stalked the forums on this site for weeks and was lucky to grab a bottle at Hawthornes in the one day or so before it sold out. This beer poured black with a thin tan head. The aroma was of bourbon and oak, with notes of vanilla. The taste was a mix of notes of whiskey, brandy, raisons, and vanilla along with with some hop bitterness and alcohol burn in the finish as it warmed up. The mouthfeel was creamy and relatively light considering it's a 13% RIS. There's definitely a lot going on with this beer so it's better to sip it slow so you don't miss anything. This was a phenomenal beer and was worth all the effort it took to get it, and also worth the $21 I spent on the bottle. At this point, I'll try anything that this brewery puts out.

Photo of axeman9182
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle of the 2011 batch, allowed to warm significantly before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Parabola pours an impenetrable black. The dark caramel head ends up at three fingers of height. The foam shows good staying power, but lacing is a bit on the light side. The nose is very good, but not great for a barrel aged stout. Sweet milk chocolate with a vanilla base is the predominant aroma, but there are also background notes of coffee and a smooth bourbon presence. That set the expectations for an above average beer, but the flavor profile blows right past that en route to legendary. The entirety of the nose is present, and in addition, caramel, cherries, and marshmallow can be appreciated on any given sip. There's so much going on with this beer that not everything gets to shine through each time I raise my glass, but it's all here and it's all delicious. The body is as rich and full as I could possibly want, with carbonation that just cuts through the sweetness and preserves the beer's malty nature. I'm not sure that I'm ready to declare Parabola my favorite barrel aged stout (hi Bourbon County Vanilla, Rare), but if it's not it's surely in the pantheon of great beers, and more proof that no one is consistently brewing big beers to the quality the Firestone Walker is

Photo of WankelEngine
4.77/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter

A: Completely opaque black. There is not even any hint of light around the edges when held up to a very bright light bulb. When I poured it, there was a very thin head, more of a cap, of tan foam. This quickly dissipated into a small ring around the edge of the glass which left very light lacing.

S: The smell is sweet and dark. I’m getting a lot of fruit smell, primarily raisins and cherries. There is a powerful backbone of sweet roasted malts which give the smell a lot of its heft. Alcohol is a notable smell and it blends well with the bourbon scent.

T: This is a big beer. The first thing I taste is a lot of dark roasted malts which give an almost sweet taste to open up with. The quickly moves into a warm, boozy bourbon flavor. The fruit scents from the smell are here as well and smell slightly lighter with an emphasis on cherry and wine. The oak flavor is very strong and becomes even more noticeable as the brew warms, complementing the spiciness of the bourbon and alcohol. Throughout the drink I can taste a sweet vanilla flavor. There are also notes of coffee, dark chocolate and toffee. What is fantastic about this beer is the balance. I can taste all of these things at once as I savor and focus on individual flavors. Nothing here is too dominant and everything comes across clearly.

M: Thick and full-bodied. Not too syrupy and the alcohol is moderately well hidden.

O: Unquestionably one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. Incredible range of flavors that somehow remain balanced and appreciable.

Photo of aficionado
4.09/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Parabola 2011 looks black, thick, and syrupy, but that syrupyness does not translate to the taste or the mouthfeel; it's drier than you would expect. The bourbon soaked wood hits you... and burns you. It's not as balanced of a beer as KBS flavorwise and a little too hot with the bourbon. I feel myself wanting more dark chocolate, better quality coffee flavors, and less bourbon and oak. Hints of Madagascar Vanilla bean shine on the palate, but the smell of Parabola is better than the taste for me.

Photo of r0nyn
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter. Shared with fellow BAs infi, brun and several others.

Pours that thick, dark inky blackness of all good imperial stouts. Impossible to see through and that's just the way it should be. Dark cream-colored head rises to about half an inch before receding, leaving really sticky, spotty lacing. It's really easy to see the legs on this brew too, they're quite present and possibly sexier than a supermodel's. Smell is full of that amazing buttermilk aroma that is only present in the rarest and greatest of imperial stouts, so this is definitely a good sign for Parabola. Dark cocoa follows that up, along with a smattering of roasted malts, dried dark raisins and dates, and that assertive bourbon. Wow. Just nothing short of exceptional.

The dark roasty malts are evident right from the get-go, providing a sweetish introduction into the big bourbon kick that follows. Lots of boozy warmth overrides the palate, but it's never overpowering and serves as a complement to the other flavors, which is a great thing because those others are hints of vanilla, dark baker's chocolate, dried fruits and toffee. In other words, some of my absolute favorite characteristic components of imperial stouts. All the nuances are balanced very well, allowing you to enjoy all of them to the fullest. Finishes with a drying, coffee twang and some more bourbon goodness, along with a little bit of oak as well. Mouthfeel is full, with just that right amount of weight on the tongue. It's coupled with a velvety smooth texture and chewiness that's just sublime.

Parabola really is a fantastically amazing beer. Very few things live up to the hype, but I'm glad to report that this particular brew not only delivers, but sets the bar so high for other beers of its style. So glad Firestone Walker is distributing on the East Coast now, allowing me and my fellow Mid-Atlantic BAs the opportunity to taste this superb drink.

Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured jet black with a thin brown head. the head faded fast, leaving no lave.

This beer smelled strongly of vanilla. I also got some oak aroma, mixed in with some bourbon. Sweet caramle and molasses were alos poesent. A slight chocolate note mixes in as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Sweet caramel with a healthy dose of vanilla. Bourbon as well, but more subtle.

This beer very smooth. It leaves a vanilla like aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden in the aroma and the flavor.

This beer might not make a good session beer because it is pretty high in alcohol.

Overall: I had this at Howie and Sons in Visalia. I have had it before, and I have always loved it. This is probably one of the best bourbon aged beers I have ever had.

Photo of unitmonster
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Hollingshead's and Beachwood BBQ. Also have had in a number of bottles, 2011 release only.

A - Viscous and dark as night. Very little head and strong lacing on the glass.

S - The smell of this beer changes with the temperature. Colder temperature you'll pick out more of the coffee and oak character, but as it gets warmer you'll start to really notice the chocolate and bourbon smells.

T - All I have to say is wow. This might be my favorite "rare" beer of 2011 due to its availability and cost. The taste is phenomenal! Chocolate, coffee, oak, bourbon. The alcohol is barely detectable.

M - Viscous and syrupy. Definitely something you want to drink before having other beers.

O - As stated above, this might be my favorite stout of the year that's widely available. It's just a great beer for a great price and can be had without standing in ridiculous 4 hour lines at brewery releases.

Photo of Gritch
4.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought on 7/21/11, and tasted on the same day. Poured it into my trusty Shakey's Mug, and it poured jet black with a nice tan head on it. I have to say that I was unimpressed with the smell. I tend to like the molassesey smelling stouts. Once I took a taste of it my opinion quickly changed. This is one fantastic tasting stout. I really liked the after burn in your throat you get about a minute after drinking it. It tastes of strong coffee, and dark chocolate. It has an after taste of bourbon to it. I have been eating a Chocolate Crisp Bar, bought at Aldis, with each stout that I drink to see if it brings out the chocolate taste. I can say that this one goes great with a piece of chocolate when you drink it. This one has been the tastiest by far.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.45/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pitch black with one finger light brown foam, and good lacing on the glass.

S- Chocolate, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, coffee, bourbon, and you get just a hint of alcohol.

T- Sweet roasted malts and chocolate, followed right away by coffee, vanilla, and oak. Dark fruits, bourbon, and bitter chocolate/coffee at the finish. Surprised how well the alcohol is masked, although it is more noticeable as the beer warms.

M- Full bodied. Has a bit of an oily feel to it. Slight dry finish with alcohol present, again more so as it warms.

O- I would say Parabola lived up to the hype. Abacus has a slight edge in my book over Parabola both Parabola is one of the best Imperial Stout's I have ever had. Can't wait to try this on tap somewhere.

Photo of 05Harley
4.85/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 4/25/11

Purchased @ Johnsons Market Place, New Durham NH
That's right, off the shelf in NH!!!

Price - $13.49/bomber

This bad boy pours midnight black with a creamy one inch tan head. This beer is dark and sticky with polka dotted lacing staining my Imperial Stout snifter. It simply looks dark and delicious.

The aroma is strong in the nose with bourbon, dark chocolate, burnt wood, tootsie roll a hint of honey and a whole lot of sweetness. The scent is powerful and addicting which keeps me sniffing the glass before each sip.

The flavor is close to a masterpiece. A wonderful balance of malts and hops that just blows my mind. Chocolate, molasses and caramel followed by vanilla bourbon. Unlike other bourbon beers I've had this one is much more subtle in the flavor and not overdone.

The mouthfeel is thick and sticky with an amazing balance between sweet and bitterness. The finish is both smooth and peppery as the vanilla and bourbon tear into the taste buds.

Overall I really dig this one. I'm confused with the release date though but at the same time delighted. I only wish I could get this on a regular basis.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.7/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured form bottle into pint tulip - bottle date 4/28/11.

A: Poured a deep black with three finger head that dissipated into a thin frothy tan lacing, good carbonation - Great looking stout.

S: Rosted barley with slight molasses , anise, bourbon, chocolate, toffee, caramel.

T: Roasted malts and barley , bitter chocolate with slight molasses,anise hints, coffee ,toffee and caramel, vanilla hints as well slight bourbon.

O: Overall this was a wonderfull RIS ,Just made my top five,
The sweet lip smacking taste was extremely well blended and balanced with great and complex flavors. Will definitely seek this one out again.

Photo of STEG
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'11 Vintage. Last bomber from deciccos ardsley, poured room temperature into a snifter-esque wine glass.

Pitch black, slightly opaque. One finger fine bubbles espresso foam colored head rises just as quickly as it falls into a fine collar of microscopic bubbles. To style, but nothing speshul.

Smell is bourbon forward with vanilla, caramel and light wood notes up front. Then it moves into a more chocolaty finish.

Taste Shows a lot of barrel and heat up front then moves into chocolate caramel and charcoal notes. Finishes sweet with touches of vanilla caramel and an ever so slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is exceptional, silky smooth, not over carbed and wonderfully warming. Truly outstanding.

Overall this is a great beer but I'm on the edge about seeking out more. I'll probably wait until next time it releases and make another pilgrimage to NY beer mecca.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a thin film on the top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. The smell of this beer is very complex with toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste is the same as the nose with more of a cocoa powder flavor coming through than milk chocolate. Mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with very complex smells and flavors. Some of the smells and flavors remind me a lot of Abacus which I can only assume is from the barrel aging program both beers went through. I am glad I have a few more of these in my cellar to enjoy in the future.

Photo of infi
4.74/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

b2, 2011 – #1 of 9 at the NYNENYGHT.

Poured into Corsendonk tulip.

Typical stout-colored bodied with transparency and vibrant, blood red edges when held towards the light. Half-fingered mocha colored head that also had some hints of red in it. Very beautiful looking and a sight to behold. Bourbon-barreled oak aging is something I'm truly beginning to understand. The vanilla character from the oak tannins was so incredible in this. Buttermilk sweetness all around. Also found in an '08 BCBS and the Founders CBS/KBS. It's always the first scent that catches my attention. But underneath that huge, buttery aroma are detectable hints of melted, milk chocolate; caramel, and the 13% boozy heat on the back end.

Taste began with a little, spicy bourbon kick but immediately segues into a strong and sweet malty backbone, embellished with tons of smooth and milky caramel and vanilla touches. On the finish is a burnt coffee-like astringency that leaves a lingering dryness on the palate. Great amount of balance in the beer. Seriously, a very great tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is incredible. My brother said it perfectly– it drinks exactly like chocolate milk. Same smooth and silky texture. An absolutely, incredible feel. Thankfully we were able to pick up multiple bottles of this mathematical shape. I had huge expectations for this beer, after hearing many good things about it, and it really surpassed them. Thank you to FSW for actually distributing to us in NY. A long time want for me!

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 002. Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a thick, viscous black with a large dark tan head that slowly recedes. The smell is rich and chocolate. 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 from what I've have liked it to be, but nice regardless. Flavor also picks up chocolate and perhaps some 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 warm alcohol sensation is a bit cloying. A solid imperial stout from a fantastic brewery nonetheless!

Photo of argock
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2011 vintage. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $15.99.

A: Black with 1-2 fingers of light brown, fomay head with decent retention and plenty of lace forms down the glass.

S: Dark maltiness dominates easily above the bourbon qualities, although the oak and vanilla are certainly as strong as the bourbon character. The dark malt notes highlight fig, coffee, dark and milk chocolate. There are some minor earthy hops contributions.

T: THe flavor is bold and unapologetically big beer in nature with a huge chewy dark maltiness including espresso, dark chocolate, and dark fruits like fig and raisin. The hops component is balancing mainly with some earthy, herbal, tobacco roundness. The vanilla and barrel qualities are most decidely oak in nature, with very little bourbon component. Alcohol mainly produces a warming effect, although there is some cherry-berry quality of it too.

M: Very smooth and chewy but not as heavy in body as you would imagine for the ABV.

O: A very interesting beer that really aims high. I still like Bell's Expedition and a handful of other RIS's better, but I plan to grab another bottle and age this as I think it has a lot of aging potential with the high ABV and complex maltiness. Parabola is an excellent brew.

Photo of flexabull
4.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep flat black color with a nice creamy white head.

Aromas are wonderful and quite pronounced. Vanilla, chocolate, coconut and booze notes.

Taste is of toasted coconut up front, dark roasted malt flavors, bitter bakers chocolate, and a bit smoky. Beer them settles in some creamy vanilla, toasted oak, and some warm booze and pine bitterness on the finish. Very complex and full flavored.

Mouthfeel is good, quite soft, but with good body. Wish it was a touch heavier though.

Overall, an outstanding brew. I can see how this makes a great component of the anniversary beers. Another home run barrel aged beer from Firestone Walker.

Photo of homebrew311
4.64/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into Bruery snifter.

A: Pours like I'd expect from a 12.5% stout, pitch black, viscous, minimal head, color of cocoa colored head, some lacing

S: the nose is perfect. Mellow notes of vanilla, coconut, and raisin give way to rich dark chocolate and some coffee character. The bourbon and oak character pairs with the base beer in a synergistic fashion. Amazing.

T: the stout character comes first and presents with huge roasted profile and then comes waves of vanilla and oak which build up as this brew is sipped. This brew features impeccable balance considering the high ABV and the bourbon aging. Very nice.

MF: smooth velvety texture, mellow carbonation, no issues here

O: This beer lives up to every bit of hype that has been mentioned. The only bourbon barrel beer that I can think of that has better balance is Bourbon County Rare. This one is well worth seeking out.

Photo of alalvarez75
4.21/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black and brown lacing with a tan head.

S - Rum and raisins, with a hint of vanilla and almond slightly booze.

M - Very strong, yet subtle and powerful.

T - Amazing. Rich rum/raisin/spicy hop accents with a nice almond/vanilla finish.

O - Amazing Stout. I'll stock up when I see more.

Photo of starrdogg
4.12/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle - Figured it was finally time to drink one of these.

A: Pours dark brown/black with a pretty fluffy tan head and minimal lacing. For a beer this big, I'm kinda shocked at the level of carbonation and lack of viscosity.

S: Bourbon, oak and sweet chocolate come together with a hint of alcohol as well. This smells a bit like a chocolate cake covered in bourbon.

T: Bourbon and chocolate are the two predominant flavors up front with some hints of vanilla. The finish interferes with the deliciousness, however: the combination of oak, roasted malt and a bit of heat combine to detract somewhat from the awesome start.

M: Medium-bodied and a good amount of carbonation, not nearly as thick or flat as most beers this big.

O: This is my 2nd time having Parabola, and the first time I thought was mindblowing (but it was at a beer festival, so I didn't review it ). Upon further reflection, perhaps I overlooked a few of the flaws in this beer - most notably the odd finish. That said it's still a damn good beer, but I'm glad I sat down with it on its own to properly evaluate it.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.15/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drank last nite with several friends; reviewed from notes.

poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: dark black beer with dark brown head. This beer really is got a huge head for a barrel aged beer.

Smell: Barrel notes of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Also chocolate and dark fruit come through the barrel notes as the beer warms to room temperature.

Taste: follows the nose of the beer really close bitter chocolate upfront that integrates with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Mild boozy heat noted in aftertaste and as you exhale after a sip of beer. Dark fruits, molasses and tobacco all linger in the back adding nice complexity to this great RIS.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low carbonation but, its almost moderately carbonationed. Silky, oily, and sticky.

Overall: This beer has beat the hype and still remains a fantastic beer! Taste is similiar to Older Viscosity. Really well done and really enjoyable.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.51/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

Sits a near perfect midnight black in the glass. Some ruby highlights around the edges. No head rises, no lacing whatsoever. There's an oil like consistency to this beer.

Broad and complex to say the least. Vanilla, bourbon and oak off the bat with toffee, dark fruits, tobacco and bitter dark chocolate. Some very mild grassy hops. This is tremendously balanced. Everything in equal doses, nothing outshining anything else. Fabulous.

Follows the nose closely. Vanilla and bourbon up front. Lightly toasted oak, dark fruit, tobacco, toffee and bitter dark chocolate through the middle. The finish is of rich chocolate, dark fruit, bourbon, and vanilla.

Full bodied, rich and decadent. Oily/sticky and just plain delicious. It works really well with the breadth of flavors/aromas going on but I can really see the smoothing out with age.

Overall, this is a pretty spectacular RIS. It reminds me a lot of fresh Kate, just not as smooth. However, the barrel aging makes up for some of that. The flavors and nose are there, it just lacks on some of the finer points. An excellent RIS.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.82/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-This beer pours absolutely black. Motor oil slick as is glugs from the bottle. A thin tan head forms and dies away leaving a film atop the viscous liquid. Tiny patches of lacing speckle the glass. Big, intimidating look from a big, bad stout.

S-Wow. Big, and frighteningly rich aroma. Powerful notes of chocolate and wooden goodness. Vanilla extract and burnt roasted coffee. Alcohol is detectable but it should be here. The bourbon aroma is not overwhelming but is at a great balance. Dark, dried fruits are also there. Smells like a chocolate brownie dipped in coffee liqueur.

T-Oh my, this is absolutely delicious. Luscious chocolate hits me first. Then the vanilla, dark fruitiness, and wooden oakyness come into play. The alcohol is big and bold but I love how it plays with the flavors. Just an unbelievably rich, and complex beer. I get some awesome toffee flavors here too. The flavor absolutely lives up to the hype here. Very happy.

M-Viscous and slick. Gentle bubbles tickle the tongue. The alcohol rounds out the feel. Exceptional feel for a big RIS. Iam a big fan of the carbonation. And the aftertaste is awesome.

O/D-Yeah. This lived up to the hype, and then some. I was worried having such a huge beer on a warm night would not be the best idea, but I loved this one. Firestone Walker seems to be one heel of a company. Double Jack and now this one...doing an unbelievable job. I love how its boxed, and for $12.99 in MA; the price is actually pretty damn good. Absolutely a great time in a bottle.

Photo of amphion1065
4.26/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Based on the information passed around on the forums, this review should have been posted a few weeks ago. 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

The pour is... audible, like olive oil from a jug. Thick and viscous, though there's a curious soda-like carbonation. The one-finger head reminds me of cappuccino froth, and it lasts and clings to the glass. Very nice.

Plenty of fresh coffee grounds in the nose, with a hint of vanilla - cafe au lait comes to mind. Overall, the aroma is pretty restrained: even as it warmed, this didn't give off a particularly rich or full bouquet.

Loads and loads of bourbon in the taste. The -bal presence is enormous, and there's charred oak and leather to go around. That said, this isn't brash or abrasively hot, and the heat is pretty mellow. The finish is all bourbon, and it lasts and lasts. Fudge brownie flavors from the base beer counterbalance the liquor character.

I had a feeling the mouthfeel would be spot-on from the pour, and I wasn't disappointed: thick and rich, this is a modicum of the style.

Right out of the gate, I prefer Parabola to fresh BCBS. I'm very excited to lay this down for a year or so - it's a little one-dimensional right now, but it'll be spectacular in 2012.

EDIT: Happened upon a bottle of 2011 this past week. This beer has matured beautifully over the past several months. The barrel presence has mellowed without losing its bourbon bite, but the base beer has taken on an absolutely gorgeous, mellow dark fruit sweetness that complements the chocolate notes very well - it is, in many ways, quite akin to BCBS. This is drinking so well, and I am updating my score accordingly.

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,489 ratings.