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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola

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

3,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3688
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)
View: Beers (64) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,688 | Reviews: 921 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of caskstrength
caskstrength

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark. Who would have thunk it.

Smells are pretty typical bourbon stout smells. Baby brother GI BCS is what comes to mind.

It tastes like a slightly watered down GI BCS. no unique flavors here. Chcolate, vanilla, tobacco, etc. With bourbon notes throughout. Flavors mush together, nothing really pops on the tongue.

If I want a thick, high ABV bourbon barrel stout, there are other (better) options closer to home. A good beer, but I wanted (expected) something really good.
I think this beer is likely better fresh. This one was about 10 months old.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 21:03:05 | More by caskstrength
Photo of ReDave
ReDave

California

4.28/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this a couple of times, and it always impresses me.
Rich dark and complex.

not much head, thin but VERY dark ring around the glass.

Nice rich chocolaty and a bit of leather in the aroma.

YUM this tastes great with a deep rich full mouth-feel.

Too bad the alcohol is up and the bottles are big, i'd get this again

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 05:32:43 | More by ReDave
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 11/28/10 notes. Shared a 22 oz. bottle of this with my brother. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

a - Pours a jet black color with one to two fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a few minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass. Looks great.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, and coffee. Very complex and great. I had Old Rasputin XII the night before drinking this one and I think the two of them might be the best barrel aged RIS's I've ever had.

t - Tastes of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, dark fruits, and vanilla. Again, very complex; I loved it.

m - Wow, the mouthfeel is truly amazing. Light to medium body and low carbonation, this might be the smoothest RIS I've ever had. A perfect mouthfeel.

d - Truly an amazing barrel aged beer; this is one of my favorite RIS's. The smell and taste are both very balanced and complex, and the mouthfeel is perfect. I felt like I could drink a lot of this, even with the 13% ABV. Can't wait to have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 00:11:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a very dark brown with maroonish brown highlights that had a very thin head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass. Upfront I detected cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, slight roastiness and bourbon for sure is coming through. it definitely has booze but faint dark fruit notes. The bourbon and the chocolate flavors mesh beautiful alongside oat grains, a little coffee roasty character, vanilla from the barrel and seems to have cocoa nib accents. I gotta say its pretty hot and probably could do well with time. The brew was full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, boozy, silky, and chewy finish; pretty damn thick. It drank pretty good considering the ABV and was very delicious. I'm glad I have one for the cellar to compare.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 06:48:51 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer both on Tap and in the bottle and quite honestly there's not much difference IMO.

Appearance - Black as midnight, looks thick as motor oil. Looks right on point for the style and for the 13% ABV

Smell - Beautiful dark fruits, molasses, milky dark chocolate, liquorice, and the Bourbon is there but does not overpower. So much going on here. You have to enhale a few times just to make sure you pick up or pick out each different aspect of this beer. Vanilla and hints of tobacco come out as well.

Taste - Good God. For the style I can't think of a better beer. The 08 Abyss isn't entirely barrel aged so I can't compare the two. Taste follows nose 100%. I keep sipping to pick out each characteristic as each sip brings out something new. SO MUCH going on here. Creamy dark chocolate, bourbon, molasses, dark fuits, vanilla, oak and a small hint of earthiness. It takes a few sips to pick up on everything but what makes this beer so unbelieveable is how well all these flavors blend together. Bourbon does not overpower the blend at all. It's def there but mellow. Very, very smooth for 13% ABV but more shockingly so for how young this beer still is. Goes down almpost creamy with minimal alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel - What 13% ABV?? It's not hot. the beer is thick but the best way to describe that thickness is extremely silky. For the viscosity, it's as smooth as it gets. Carbonation is there but no overly so at all. Almost Perfect for the style and for a Stout this big.

Drinkability - I'd give it a 5 but at 13% I just can't.

Final Thoughts - I can't wait to try this beer again with more age on it. I'm having a hard time thinking it could still get better. I liked this better than the 2009 BCS, KBS, Older Viscosity, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, and Old Rasputin XII I've had thus far this year. Good thing I have 3 more in the cellar (Closet)

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 20:58:53 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last evening I opened a bottle of Firestone Walker's Parabola, a barrel aged imperial stout. This is a stout near and dear to my heart, as father would often sit me on his knee and tell bedtime stories while sipping it during those cold winter nights of my childhood. Last eve, at twilight, I sipped it on the veranda while watching my grandchildren play on the south lawn; and Henrietta trussed the pheasant for our Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it as much as I have in years past. A strong bitter (dare I say acrid!?) coffee note crowded out many of the fine qualities I recall in Parabolas of yore - a genteel balance of English toffee, Tahitian vanilla, old money bourbon, and mother's chocolate. To be sure, Firestone Walker occasionally produces tip top Parabola of the sort that can be said to resemble premium Indonesian chronic. However, this 2010 bottle reminds me instead of Black Xantus, an innoble attempt at producing a good barrel aged stout.

With my disappointment in FW13, Black Xantus, and now Parabola, I am rethinking the high pedestal upon which I place the Firestone Walker brewery and its pedigree. I may reallocate my portfolio to reduce my dependence on Firestone Walker, but will consult with Warren first for his wise counsel.

Perhaps a return to high class basics - with a strict Van Winkle aging program - would resurrect the great FW barrel aged brews I know and love? Should Mr. Brynildson wish to put this query to the test, I would be honored to place my distillery's resources at his disposal. Would that Parabola return to her glory.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 17:28:46 | More by waltonc
Photo of billyshears
billyshears

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes. imbibed a couple weeks ago.
a: Black with nice dark tan head. great lacing too.

s: slight bourbon, roasted malts, nice cocoa smell and bitter hops

t: the bourbon gives a slight flavor of vanilla and oak but well integrated. it's much more subtle than a lot of the other bourbon barrel aged beers, which is nice as it doesn't over power the base beer. great flavor in the dark chocolate + roast component. a bit of alcohol on the back end but it works.

m: decent mouthfeel although I think i'd like it a bit thicker. goes down pretty smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

d: drinks very well but sip and savor

one of the best beers i've had as of late. lives up to hype.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 01:44:27 | More by billyshears
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured pitch black with a tan head that diminished quickly.

Smelled of dark fruits, coffee, chocolate and some alcohol.

The taste was of dark berries, chocolate, roasted malt and caramel. The chocolate flavors came out a bit more as the beer warmed up and aired out. I was expecting hints of raisin but there wasn't any. The taste was exceptionally smooth and so was the sip. The carbonation was well in effect but it didn't effect the mouthfeel.

This was a big surprise. I heard that it was very good but I thought it would be heavy and bitter like a lot of stouts but was pleasantly surprised. One of the top, best tasting imperial stouts I have ever had, and probably ever will have.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 17:47:11 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of Hoptoss
Hoptoss

Nevada

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

Poured dark with a nice darker head.

Smell: Heavy on the roasted malts, especially chocolate but with hints of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Was appropriate for the type of beer, a little on the heavier side for having a higher ABV, which is very nice.

Taste: Very complex. Starts with coffee/chocolate type roasted flavors, followed by hints of sweetness that compliment the initial flavors very well.

I had this beer on numerous occasions, both from bottle and draught, there were no major differences.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 06:48:28 | More by Hoptoss
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

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

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a deep black with a nice dark brown head that fades to a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of molasses, dark fruits, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Really nice aromas that I could smell as soon as I started pouring it into my glass.

T: The taste starts with a burst of vanilla and then black strap molasses which fades to a bitter dark chocolate finish. There are dark fruits in there as well with a bit of a boozy element but what do you expect from a 13% beer.

M: The feel is very thick and coats the mouth making the finish last a lot longer than I've ever experienced.

D: Probably one of the better barrel aged stouts I've had in a while. 13% would definitely make this hard to drink the entire bomber...good thing I split it with my fiancee.

Having had FW13 a few months prior to this I can definitely tell this was a main component of that blend and after looking it up I confirmed that it was the highest percentage beer in that blend. Great stuff and I have another to age a few years. This seems to have great aging potential like GIBCS.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 02:48:07 | More by GregSVT
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 Mooch273
Mooch273

California

4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black like tar or molasses; no head yet still looks so inviting.

A: Cocoa, vanilla, anise, slightly nutty and quite roasty.

T: Coffee, cocoa, roasted almonds, bourbon, vanilla, slight nutmeg.

M: Very thick. Coats the tongue with a layer of roasted cocoa and vanilla nuttiness. Not hot. Very smooth.

D: Surprisingly easier drinking than I thought it would be. I could easily enjoy a bottle on my own. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had. Nice job Firestone!

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2010 05:46:12 | More by Mooch273
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 sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

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

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 05-05-10 bottled date. Yet again, I have Beerwolf77 to thank for his continued generosity; next time I bring the beer! ;)

(A)- Pours thick and pitch black in color. Produced a good frothy brown colored head with decent retention. Some lacing present.

(S)- A nice rich profile. Chocolate, coffee, and molasses. A nice mellow caramel sweetness at the end. This will be strong, but it sure does smell wonderful.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A really nice rich profile of coffee, chocolate, molasses with a nice mellowed caramel sweetness. A tiny hint of a dry vanilla-like oak. All in all, an excellent flavor profile that meshes well despite its strength/ABV.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. It is rich, but has a superb balance and smoothness despite the 13%. It is almost restrained and mellow due to how well balanced this is as a whole.

(D)- Simply a fantastic Imperial Stout. A superb balance that makes this really shine for the style. Still not for the faint of heart since it is rather strong in all senses, but it just fits. Just an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 18:35:33 | More by sweemzander
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of chswimmer. A cali BA that sadly no longer exists. Shared with the tickeratzi.

A: Pitch black hue. Quick burst of mocha hued head. Tiny amount of soapy lace. Small cap.

S: Sweet chocolate syrup, roast black coffee, caramel, molasses, tiny wisp of campfire. Almost no trace of the abv can be found.

T: Dark chocolate and black coffee are the most dominant. Much more bitterness in the flavor than the nose. Black licorice and molasses. Hints of campfire. Again almost no trace of the high abv.

M: Thick chewy body. Very mild carbonation.

D: Overall a great Double Stout. Super drinkable. FSW hit this one out of the park.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 23:25:19 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

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

Sent by msubulldog25, to whom I give eternal gratitude, for this beer and the many others he's sent me over the years. This, my 1300th review, is for you buddy!

A marvelous coal-black liquid pours into the snifter. As it was pouring, the light revealed some deep ruby/burgundy-like highlights, but now that it's in the glass it's total black hole time. The head is a toasted brown beauty, but it gets scared away quickly by that 13% alcohol thing.

The label doesn't make clear what kind of barrels this was aged in, and from the aroma, it's hard to discern if the barrels held whiskey in their former lives or not. Such a thing is usually pretty clear, but here I get some charred wood aroma, and a peculiar boozy-plus-vanilla-plus-soggy dark fruit flare that could be showing the ghost of whiskeys past, or just be that big ABV talking. Either way, it's subtle, especially for the strength, with tiny nuances deep beneath the surface.

Mmm...mellow, mellow, mellow, with dark bittersweet chocolate, serious dark roast coffee, and alcohol-soaked wood all woven together. Plum, fig and raisin are threaded into all of this, and they become more prominent with warming. Of course this can't escape without some heat, but for the strength, the alcohol level is just right. The heat is a warming, soothing one, far from some kind of aftershave disaster. As with all other elements of Parabola, the keyword here is "balance."

As the taste is triple-mellow, so the mouthfeel is smooth, smooth, smooth. Silky, slick, and carbonated just enough to add textural brightness, this wins because it's so approachable. With the mellow, nuanced taste, and the high alcohol, something thicker would have been overkill and/or out of place.

For a barrel-aged 13% imperial stout, it really doesn't get much more drinkable, or accessible, than this. Obviously one to take slow and savor, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it's just too good to drive down quickly. What a start to the weekend...

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 21:47:50 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of nkersten
nkersten

Illinois

4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, shared generously at a Chicago tasting. Pours black with a tiny tan head that fades leaving little trace. Smell is mostly oak and light hops, sweet dark malts and vanilla. A slight metallic smell as well. Taste is bourbon and carmel up front, heavily roasted malts and a bit of alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is lighter then i would have expected, medium to heavy with a light carbonation. Overall drinkability for the style is pretty good, but this one could use a little time.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 13:41:20 | More by nkersten
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Insane intensity and full of character, this Imperial Russian Stout is one for the ages.

Dark, dark brown (nearly black) with almost complete opaqueness, only admitting light around the estreme edges. Froathy tan head formation leads to average retainage (falters underneath the thinning of 13% abv.). Light on lacing but moderate on classic brandy legging.

Deep and complex aromas start and finish with brownie-like chocolaty notes that are decorated with cherry, sherry, soy, grape, dates, figs, caramel, vanilla, and aged woods. With all that going on, the beer's aroma is all about the bittersweet chocolate and French roast coffee.

Chocolatey early, the beer morphs into Irish Coffee flavors (think whisky and cream), and fruitness that comes equally from fruity esters and alcohols. Again, aged and dehydrated fruits of cherries, apples, figs, dates, raisons all give a rum-soaked fruitcake flavor that carries through to the finish and aftertaste.

Full and rich early, the beer breaks early to finish with an alcohol thinning texture and ultimately warm, maybe hot finish. Very drinkable because it doesn't start too thick but doesn't finish thin, fusal, or abrasive.

Very well balanced throughout, Parabola demonstrates all of what is prominant about the spread of flavors that make up the Russian Imperial Stout profile. All of this manifests in a beer that reviels new flavors with each warming sip. Delicious and succulent from sip to finish, this beer drinks much more easily than it should.

Thanks Auroracrisis!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 04:42:51 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Big thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. This has been on my wants for a long time.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head.

The aroma is a mix of licorice and roasted malt. The beer's aroma reminds me of Ten Fidy and is a little disappointing.

The flavor more than makes up for the slight disappointment in the aroma. I get a ton of roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and maple. The flavor is very complex and all of the flavors meld together very well, with none of the individual flavors stomping on the others.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

This is how you do a bourbon barrel aged beer. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 04:32:58 | More by Mora2000
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle shared at Al's blow-out.

A: The imperial stout sure is imperial looking, dark and black. A moderate-sized head, a tan color, stands out against the darkness.

S: The nose is nutty and roasted, plenty of malts to go around. Call me an outlier, but I wasn't impressed with the bourbon presence.

T: The roasted flavors consume the stout, burnt and bready, well toasted. Nuttiness matches the dark stouts, a sweeter flavor that puts a few dents into the roasted depth. Again, the barrel aging isn't very dominant. Instead the malt profile is left to fend for its own. Some oak comes through late, but the oomph of bourbon seems to be lost on me. Anyone wanna send me another to try?

M: The mouthfeel is that of an imperial stout, sweet and deep, burnt and full. Much more stout than bourbon, at least what was in my glass.

D: Big and bold, a mouthful of a stout. Only problem is that is like every other imperial stout, dark and warming with plenty of roasted flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 01:34:21 | More by akorsak
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #400

A: Pitch black. Opaque. Big beige head that has the look of wet sand on the beach. An ideal appearance.

S: Huge roasted malt presence with very prominent bourbon aroma.

T: Absolutely fabulous. Everything I love about barrel-aged beers is embodied in this beer.

M: Rich and full-bodied with a great, warming lingering finish.

D: An awesome beer that I highly recommend. One of the best barrel-aged imperial stouts I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 23:08:41 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured pitch black with a thin tan head to it. After a few minutes the head had all but retreated to the edges of the glass, where it left just a bit of lacing.

The aroma shows a lot of dark chocolate coming through. Oak wood with a bit of a bourbon alcohol and vanilla flavor come through as well. Very flavorful and complex aroma to it overall.

The taste has a lot of really great flavors to it. Dark chocolate mixes with a pretty big barrel aged, vanilla and oak wood flavor. Towards the finish more of the bourbon notes come out along with some coffee and bitter chocolate. Just a bit of some cherry flavors pop up and add a nice chocolaty cherry aspect to it. Fantastic flavor overall and perfect barrel aging for my taste. It doesn't get better than this.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with carbonation being low. Drinkability is great for such a high alcohol beer. The flavors all came together excellently. The barrel aging really enhanced it and gave it some fantastic depth instead of overpowering it. World class beer overall and one of the top of the style for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 02:16:40 | More by billab914
Photo of mjn5036
mjn5036

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled opened and poured into a large snifter. A black hole of a beer. The pour is dark, thick; a vicious appearing beer unrelenting and uncompromising in its attempt to keep out the light. A small, one inch head arises, initially light in color but darkens into a nice mocha/caramel color as is subsides into a thin ring clinging desperately to the side of the glass. On the nose I am picking up on strong fig, lots of bourbon, vanilla and a nice oakiness that gives way to booze and more booze. Taste is right along the lines of the nose, in addition to a really pleasant presence of thick caramel; chocolate covered toffee, cane sugar and toasted grains. The mouth feel is medium to heavy, at times almost seeming to be too much at once. The moderate amount of carbonation helps the drinkability. A good beer overall. This is a beer that demands your time and attention; sip it slowly and reap the benefits.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 02:18:22 | More by mjn5036
Photo of mikey711
mikey711

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown near black with a small mocha colored head. it doesnt hold all that much but it doesnt bother me all that much

S: Lots of caramel notes upfront which is very pleasnant almost like a twix bar with some cookie and chocolate notes as well. nice vanilla notes and some woodiness. The bourbon adds a nice bit of spiciness as well

T: Again the caramel and toffee notes mix with an almost cookie like flavor. Nice oak notes that bring out some vanilla and chocolate sweetness. the bourbon is very prevalent and both sweet and spicy

M: there is some heat and it is a bit thin for 13% and actually a bit more like a strong ale. it is not very coying

D: A slow sipper for sure and best shared, but overall a great beer that i wouldnt mind getting more of

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 00:37:13 | More by mikey711
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a mocha head that fades to a ring. Nose is roasted malt of the burned varietal. Typical FW anise, almost mint-like barrel notes shine in. That was part of what I loved so much about the FW13. Bitter baker's chocolate. Mouth is almost numbing, very heavy, that burned malt playing with dark fruits like dates, raisins, still that nice herbal quality. Boozy and fairly hot. Heavy and unfocused to my taste. Has good qualities but this is a bit much on its own. I much prefer it in the anniversary blends.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 00:06:13 | More by JAXSON
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,688 ratings.