Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in a blend of bourbon barrels from Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Pappy Van Winkle, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

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Reviews: 1,130 | Ratings: 5,976
Photo of beerdrifter
4.72/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Been saving it for almost a year so it has some nice age on it. Pitch black pour with beautiful chocolate-colored two finger head that fades quickly with minimal lacing. The bourbon and oak are huge right from the first whiff. Hints of vanilla, tobacco, espresso and dark chocolate make every sip a pleasure to the nose. This is one big beer! The taste is huge and complex. As in the nose, the bourbon and oak are the stars. The balance is perfect with just enought bitter hops to offset the sweet malts. Dark chocolate, vanilla, roasty coffee, oak and lots of bourbon only get better as this warms. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth as silk. And although this is a huge sipper of a beer, it was extremely drinkable. I had read complaints about the size of the bottle being too big for one person, but I was totally enjoying every drop and never felt overwhelmed. The alcohol is warming but not overpowering. This is one of those rare beers and I can't thank the staff at Tops Liquors enough for hooking me up with this classic!

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Photo of hawks10
4.12/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - 2010 Vintage - Poured into a tulip...

Pours thick and black, two fingers of dark tan head slowly forms and recedes even slower...10 minutes later, there is still a small cap of dark tan head, no lacing...

Large doses of sweet vanilla mixes with chocolate to create a very rich smelling beer. Bourbon aromas add another layer of sweetness, and there is only a mild roasted bitterness to combat all of this. Oak adds an earthy and dry aroma in the end...

Flavor is less sweet and much more dry than the aroma. Bourbon and semi-sweet, slightly bitter dark chocolate dominate the flavors. A bit of alcohol heat shows up in the middle and lingers into the finish. A dry, earthy and oaky flavor dominates the finish, lingering for, seemingly, eternity...

Full bodied, smooth and creamy with just a little bite of carbonation in the middle, otherwise, pretty still, coating. Just a bit of booze heat and bitterness that lingers for a while...

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mikesgroove for indulging me. Pours thick black with nearly black head. This is a bourbon story. Bourbon hits you in the nose and is strong, with alcohol apparent, in the taste. I am Ok with bourbon in moderation, we are not a corn distilled fan nation, but it was too much. Cocoa powder and coconut was also experienced and not integrated. This is above average body, it was finishable, I owed it to the brewers. Not as great as many other RIS I have consumed of late, it is an example of what is turned out as a big beer.

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Photo of gregshead
4.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a half finger of head that dissipates quickly.

S: vanilla/oak smells dominate w/ a subtle bourbon in the background.

T: Tastes follows the smell. Lots of oak/vanilla with small bourbon flavors. Some alcohol/boozy taste but very small for a 13% abv beer.

M: A little bit of heat felt on the nose. Amazing amount of carbonation for a barrel aged beer.

D: A really enjoyable barrel aged stout. Really well done and easy to drink. Glad that Firestone Walker bottled this one. Can't wait to get it again.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Spdkilz and Waltonc for the bottles. Poured into FW mini snifter, again a thanks to Carleton.

Black, opaque body. Slight dark brown sugar head, limited retention. A moderate amount of lacing left clinging to the glass.

Bourbon, oak, and chocolate aromas are strong at cellar temp. With warmth, roasted malt and coffee begin to reveal themselves. Dark caramel aroma becomes more evident as you get deeper into the bottle.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma. Bourbon, chocolate and oak are present through out. Roasted flavors deepen with warmth. Hints of burnt sugars, coffee and dark caramel are intertwined.

Medium bodied, just a smidge under what I would see as ideal for the style. Carbonation is low but appropriate. Very smooth texture with a rather long finish.

Very good beer. I was not impressed as much as I had hoped, though I do attribute this to my rather high expectations. Very drinkable, the booze is not a factor which is an accomplishment with such a big beer. I am glad I have another bottle.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle courtesy of Patchmaster - amazing extra, thanks buddy! Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a viscous liquid coal, pretty thick and oily looking (note: I know that "liquid coal" would likely normally be referred to as oil, but then I couldn't have used the adjective "oily" without sounding repetitive). The color is nice, deep and vivid, and I'm pleased by the thick look of the body, as so often these higher abv% -bal stouts are thinned out a lot by the spirit addition and time in the barrel. The major flaw here (if you can call it that) is the head retention - it's not terrible, but it's only slightly above average, rendering the finger and a half of deep cocoa head nonexistent inside about sixty seconds, with only a frumpy, uneven, soapy collar and a few thin lines of surface lace. The lack of retention is a little surprising, given how nice the lacing on the sides of the glass is like stalactites dripping down from the initial rim where the head once was. All in all, a great start, with one minor, stylistically forgivable flaw standing between it and perfection.

Aroma: Nice, on the whole, but a little too faint for me to tell whether or not it's as complex as I'd like, though it does come out of its shell a little bit as it nears room temperature. The first thing notable about it is how well balanced the notes are. I'm getting nearly equal parts vanilla/barrel notes and chocolatey, toasty malts, and they're marrying very nicely. Spicy, bourbon macerated dark fruits aren't far behind, but on the whole, I have to say that the aroma is the weakest aspect of this beer, both in terms of score and strength.

Taste: A thick, chewy, bracingly flavorful brew. The malts are fantastic, sweet on the top end and toasty and astringent on the bottom. Sweet, saccharine fudge and bittersweet cocoa mingle expertly with astringent, burned toast, slight smoke, and earth. Blackstrap sugar notes mingle with toffee and caramel, and the whole malt bill is definitely amplified by a nice amount of toasted wood sugars. Speaking of wood sugars, one of the things I like a lot about the flavor profile of this beer is how the barrel is strong and isn't at all overpowered by the bourbon notes it contributes (and how that whole package is in balance with the aforementioned malt bill). Toasted coconut and woody vanillins and cinnamon notes mingle with dark oak notes, and everything is wrapped up nicely by some thick black cherry, raisin, and plum notes.

Mouthfeel: One of the best feeling stouts I've ever set my lips to - an easy 5.0, no question. A body of the perfect thickness without a single unnecessary bubble, the amount of lift, the crunch, the chewyness, the slickness ... it's all spot on, perfectly balanced, and amplifies all of the flavor components beautifully.

Drinkability: This isn't a "mature" brew - that is, it's not well-aged, mellowed, subtle, or moderate. Instead, it's young, intense, bold, and extreme ... it's just youthfully, intensely, boldly, and extremely balanced. And if this brew were as bold in the aroma as it is in the mouth, you'd have yourself an easy world class brew here. As it stands, it's excellent, and the 13% doesn't manifest itself anywhere other than the bourbon warmth and spice (where it's desired) and, well, the manner in which I'm beginning to type and collect thoughts. So I'll wrap this up by saying: 1) this beer should be released again; 2) this beer should be a component of everyone FW Anniversary beer unless and until FW puts out a better one (aside: when are we getting Abacus? Bueller? Bueller?); and 3) if you haven't tried this beer and can get ahold of it, do so. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of sugit
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Thick jet black pour. Nice long lasting tanish head. Very nice looking stout.

S: Smell was a little bit of a let down. Not as strong as I as hoping. Mostly roasted malts and a bit of vanilla. Was hoping for more.

T: Very very complex beer. Very rich, but so darn smooth. Lots of different flavors hitting the palate all in great balance. Roasted malts, chocolate, bit of coffee and suprisingly nice bitter hops bite. Very nice bourbon flavor without being overpowering or the heat. Rounds out the outstanding flavor profile.

Very well blended together with such great harmony. No one flavor outshining the other.

M: Full bodied, thick and creamy. Great carbonation for this style. Perfect.

D: Waaay too easy drinking for 13%. One of the best BA stouts I've had.

Drank the boomer with ZERO problem. I wish I would have picked up a couple extra bottles at the price point. Unfortunately, I am left with only one more bottle. Worthy of all the praise.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 12-19-2010. Review from notes. Another bottle of amazing beer shared by MADhombrewer. This one was pulled straight from his own stash. Served at cellar temperature (55F) in a snifter. Enjoyed alongside WitchesBrew and TulipSnifter.

A: For whatever reason, I expected this to look thinner. It's actually pretty thick and ominous looking. A very dark brown, I would not quite call this black. A finger of head quickly receded to a wispy cap and froth ring. 4/5

S: Tons of vanilla popping up on this. The barrel aging did wonders in helping that out no doubt. A lot of spices show up here as well. Cinnamon and a pronounced wood character give this beer warmth on the nose. 4.5/5

T: Peppery alcohol, again with the spices and cocoa powder do their parts to numb the taste buds. Layers upon layers of wood oh glorious wood create great depth. 4.5/5

M: Thick and coating, this is quite luscious.

D: I drank my 5-6 ounce snifter far too fast and my review suffered as a result. This was my first time having this beer even though I have 2 bottles of my own safely stashed away. I'm going to have to revise this in the future when I have a little more time to really think about this beer. For the moment I'm very glad I have more and look forward to drinking them! 4/5

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Photo of Jeffo
4.51/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in multiple trades with Masterski, thetomG, and jojomdma. Thanks a lot for these guys!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2010
Hops: Simcoe, Bravo, Styrian Golding and East Kent Golding.

APPEARANCE: A thicker, black pour produces a one finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Jet black body with lots of carbonation evident. Surprising amount of bubbles really; quite a bit for the style. Head slowly fades to a wisp and ring. A swirly wisp remains until the end, but only a few dots of lacing slide down the glass. Good pour, but average the rest of the way through.

SMELL: Wow this is awesome. Huge, bold, aggressive nose with lots of bourbon and vanilla notes. Very present barrel. Some roasted malts and sweet milk chocolate accompany the barrel, but the bourbon and vanilla certainly take the forefront. Some molasses and a bit of port wine in there act to restrain the barrel from completely taking over. Great BA nose.

TASTE: Lots of bourbon up front with some roasted malts as well. Bold flavors and a very present barrel as well. Vanilla flavors and some sweet, milk chocolate and molasses at the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon, vanilla and milk chocolate. Lots of barrel here, but it's well measured and the base beer can still throw its weight. Roasted malts, molasses, and the milk chocolate sweetness still play a role behind the barrel flavors. Nice stuff.

PALATE : Medium-full body and soft, medium carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, velvety, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A touch of heat after the swallow. Very solid BA imperial stout palate.

OVERALL: A top notch BA imperial stout. The barrel was very present, but still didn't dominate and overpower the base beer. It certainly played a leading role, but it played the role very well. Very drinkable and very enjoyable. I constantly had Goose Islands BCBS in my mind while drinking it, and I can safely say I enjoyed this one more. It would be great to line them up head-to-head at some point. Would love to drink this again. Thanks again for the trades gents.

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Photo of 100floods
3.66/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Bottle is taken from Reserve Series No. 1

Pours a jet black hue with a fizzy bronze head that fades away to a finger's worth of head and lacing. I smell vanilla and dark fruits blended in harmony, some drier, perhaps malt notes of the roasted persuasion. The first sip has a burst of warmth from the alcohol and finished with and oily aftertaste. There's a distinct whiskey flavor, too. The malt is trying to push its way through the bigger flavors and seems to work, just enough to be noticed. There;s some dark fruit flavors that give way to the roasted malt flavors. There's some vanilla sneaking around as well. Very cream mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep things moving. I'm trying to decide whether or not this alcohol flavor is something from the barrel or the fact that it's 13%. Knowing the barrel aged beers that I've had from the brewery in the past I'm going to guess it's from the barrel. This is a diverse beer. Definitely a good one to spend time with. I'm not sure if aging this will do any good. It's very smooth for a beer this size. I'd give this beer some time and see how the malt character changes. Perhaps without the barrel aging this might taste a little better.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.78/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of ReDave
4.26/5  rDev -6.2%
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

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Photo of mdfb79
4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.63/5  rDev +2%
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)

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Photo of waltonc
3.7/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of billyshears
4.45/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of Hoptoss
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.87/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.69/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.