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Parabajava | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

59 Reviews
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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:
Parabajava ia an ongoing series exploring the infusion of coffee into our Parabola Barrel Aged Imperial Series. This first offering is a collaboration with the famed Intelligentsia Coffee Company, utilizing their El Diablo espresso blend. This beer was crated for our June 16th Father’s Day brunch at Lot 213 in L.A. The coffee brings intense coffee house espress aroma - roasty carmel, toffee, molasses and fresh ground coffee notes. The flavor melds well with the big rich character of the stout - complementary roasty flavors, dark baker’s chocolate, and more caramel which pairs well with Parabola’s rich malt and smokey oak bourbon notes. The finish is amazingly smooth and integrated.

Added by Rau71 on 04-13-2013

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 425
Photo of eifster82
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015... from bottle into snifter.

L - deep deep brown, but not motor oil black like I was expecting. Very little foam head around the edges, and with a few sips it disappears and you're just left with deep brown.

S - nice bourbon note, deep roasted malts like a solid BA imperial stout. Having said that, not much coffee present. Even less so as the beer warmed.

T - Quite delicious. Coffee is present but not as much upfront. It's more present as a subtle note. There's no question this already takes an awesome beer like Parabola and adds another layer of complexity.

F - A bit of heat. Bourbon note is present at end but not overpowering.

O - A high end stout. Possibly the best one from FW BA program. I would drink this much more frequently if I could get my hands on it. It will not disappoint.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow what a beer! I've always found Parabola to be just a bit underwhelming (still delicious, but there are better BA stouts out there); however Parabajava was exactly the punch of flavor it was needing. The coffee takes this beer to the next level, and easily makes it one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had. Can't wait to have it again!

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark ebony brown with a light brown foamy head, that subsides into a soapy haze atop the glass. Smell is rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, toasted bread notes, and a hint of roast coffee. Taste is Devils food cake with nutty toffee glaze, and a rich roasty coffee finish that lingers in the throat. No Booze. Awesome flavors! Feel is silly smooth, a bit heavy, which suits the style quite well. Overall, an amazing beer start to finish.

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Photo of dannyfayy
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nearly perfect BA Coffee Stout. Incredibly smooth coffee flavor. Perfect balance of coffee, barrel, and roast. Goes down way too easy for 14%. If I had to nitpick, its a touch sweet, but far from being "BT sweet."

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Photo of wulfie85
4.35/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can you honestly go wrong with Parabola and coffee? Pours thick and black with good head and excellent chocolate, barrel and coffee aromas. Perfect mouth feel and great oaky and chocolate flavors blend well with the coffee

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Photo of Drel
4.93/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Takes a perfect base beer and adds another layer of delicious flavor. The coffee adds just enough complexity to the parabola beer. I didn't think parabola could get any better...but here we are.

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Photo of T_Hass
4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle I brought from California into my Teku glass. Did a side by side with 2014 BCBCS. The beer is smooth as can be but I have to say I expected more coffee from this beer. The coffee is there but its subtle. The flavor and the scent come through a bit more as it warms up. Comparatively BCBCS was more slightly more viscous and was a bit more peppery. Both were fantastic brews and I'm not sure one beer was better than the other. Overall I wish I would have tried Parabajava sooner to see if more of the coffee came through. I hope FW makes this a regular release.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


A: coffee forward, with rich complex deep grain roast and malt. The roast is reminiscent of coffee and dark chocolate. With the addition of actual coffee, even more so than standard Parabola. There is a light malt sweetness and bourbon barrel presence.

A: Jet black color, totally opaque with a moderate tan mostly-smooth head that has adequate retention.

T: Moderate coffee flavor upfront that quickly moves into deep grain roast. The malt flavor is coffee/dark chocolate-like with a slight sweetness. The beer has a slight bourbon barrel character with a dry finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer has a luscious texture, slight alcoholic warmth, and is unbelievably smooth.

O: Delicious; Parabola is a world class Russian Imperial Stout and the coffee variant brings out even more coffee aroma and flavor. Another interesting aspect of this variant is that it’s smoother than standard Parabola. Slightly over-carbonated, but all in all the coffee really integrates well in this beer, highly drinkable and delicious!

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Photo of Skellbop
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - inky black with thin brown head
S - big chocolate scent upfront, with a bit of roastiness
T - sweet chocolate, slight booziness on the back
F - thin mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, creamy
O - parabola with a bit more coffee, delicious!

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Photo of eLeMeNOhPee1
4.31/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this beer out of the bottle. In to a tulip. Did not get as much coffee as I was hoping for, not sure if it fell off. Still a great beer, I prefer regular Parabola, again still great.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.17/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chocolate color with a boozy coffee and chocolate aroma. Flavor is a boozy up front with some bitter coffee and chocolate. I had some higher expectations for this but all I get is flavors that needs to be more balanced. Overall this is still a really nice beer but I had hoped for better.

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Photo of Beer4B
4.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Incredible beer. So big and yet so smooth with waves of flavors just like Parabola, but wonderfully integrated coffee and just what I was hoping.

Takes one of my favorite beers and improves with coffee while not taking away from the base. Hope they make this again

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Photo of Rothobinide
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First off, let me say that this beer is fabulous.

Smells like fresh coffee grounds, hints of wood and coca. Flavor is all coffee shop mocha lattes with some oak toast thrown in for depth of character. Mouthfeel and finish is typical of FW BA beers (Parabola, Sucaba, Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin, Helldorado, etc) I have come to expect a level of finesse in their execution of these beers.

Finally, let me say that, while this beer is fabulous, it is not worth the crazy hype. A tremendous beer that will definitely be brewed again, I shouldn't wonder.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.76/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had Parabola as beer #300, so couldn't think of a better beer to crack for #500. This beer looks very light when it is being poured, but looks almost black in the glass. Head is 1/4 inch and mocha colored. Retention is almost non existent and there is no lacing. Smell is very complex. Chocolate, oak, coffee, vanilla and bourbon are most apparent. Taste is very similar. Absolutely outstanding. Initially the beer is very very chocolatey and although not "hot," kind of heavy on the bourbon too. As it warms though the coffee really emerges and the bourbon takes a back seat. Feel is full and velvety. Slightly sticky on the back end. Overall just fantastic! Based on taste alone this is the best stout I've ever had. According to my BA ratings I like Parabajava .03 more than Parabola.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark black color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. Smell is oak, bourbon, coffee, chocolate. Taste reflect much of the same - bitter chocolate and coffee shine through the heaviest. Very smooth, sticky mouthfeel. Excellent stuff

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Photo of Hootie159
4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. One finger reasonably dark head. Good edge ring and film. Strong barrel note and coffee smell. Taste picks it up a notch. Bit of bourbon heat with a sweet sting. Bitter coffee with some acidity. Some dark chocolate notes. Smooth for days. Good brew.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Firestone Walker Proprietors Vintage glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a light brown or dark tan head that reduces at a moderate rate, after 10 minutes it leaves a ring of retention and some spotty lacing.

On the nose is heavy bourbon and vanilla, much like Parabola. Milk chocolate and maybe a little coffee, but not too much coffee. A little boozy in this category as well.

So.. letting this warm up to almost room temperature makes it a totally different beer! Cold, it's very whiskey forward with vanilla and milk chocolate. As it warms up, the coffee really starts shining through, especially on the follow through and finish. Aftertaste is very roasty, toasty, charred. A little boozy, but that's expected. Mouthfeel is pretty rich and thick, medium-heavy body with low carbonation.

Very good.. I found this VERY similar to Parabola until it warmed up, at which time the coffee really started shining.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.46/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from vanlingleipa a while back. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2015
Imperial Coffee Stout

APPEARANCE: A very transparent dark brown pour yields a two finger, medium looking, creamy, light brown head with good retention. Clear bistre brown body with and absolute shit ton of carbonation. Bubbles all over this place. Absurd for the style, really. Head fades to a thick cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving traces of lacing down the glass. Really light in color for an imperial stout and way over carbonated.

SMELL: Raw coffee beans, oak, some light bourbon, and traces of sweet cream and roasted notes. Definitely raw bean forward. Very heavy on the coffee beans.

TASTE: Lots of raw coffee beans a gain, with notes of oak and bourbon up front. Some alcohol with more wood and bourbon at the swallow, then a bold and lingering finish of oak, sweet cream, some bourbon and toffee sweetness, and lots of raw, bitter and burnt coffee beans. Pretty outspoken.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down fine with a burn at the swallow and finishes a bit sticky. Some heat definitely lingers as well.

OVERALL: This was good stuff. Not as mind numbing as everyone says it is, but it's certainly high quality. The coffee is very forward and rather raw, for lack of a better word, though the barrel still pokes through here and there. The one real knock I'd give it is that the color is simply too light and transparent for the style. I don't remember earlier batches of Parabola being like this. It's also insanely carbonated, which is odd. Anyways, a solid beer that was fun to drink, though I'm not sure I'd pick it over the regular Parabola, as I found the coffee addition a little too beany, if that makes any sense. Give it a try if you see it though. Definitely worth checking out and FW never disappoints. Cheers vanlingleipa!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.97/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yip yip yip...thank you beersloth for the amazing extra surprise. been dying to try this. some ppl are saying that this is starting to fall off and if that's the case then damn...this must've been unreal cause right now, I find it fairly mindblowing. I equate it to that first sip of one of those legendary batches of bcbcs (like fresh 13 and 11). Firestone walker really owns barrel aging beer in my mind and the addition of the selected coffee to parabola is simply magic. looking forward to this being an annual release and hopefully getting a little easier to get. homerun!

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap in Buellton and what a friggin' treat. 3oz pour (times about 6-7) and looked a bit thin, aroma was that fudge and coffee, some bourbon and chocolate. All the flavors mended together so well and this is such an incredible beer that I personally didn't think I'd enjoy so much. DESTROYS BCBCS and certainly (IMO) better than regular Parabola by a mile. For a 14% monster stout, this is near the top of the list and happy some were just put on the shelf as we were leaving.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the barrelhouse. Pours out looking a little lighter than Parabola, but still ultra dark. Head isn't as luxurious either. Aroma was a big disappointment, I expected way more coffee, this was one I was kind of thinking maybe my nose wasn't working, but the hoppy stuff smelled hoppy, so i didn't think it was on me.

Taste, the bitterness is higher and the barrel notes are lower, the coffee flavor is just not jumping for me. Still thick, good viscosity, roast, but at the expense of the oak, bourbon and whatnot.

I dunno, this was one I thought that was clearly a lesser compared to the base version.

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Photo of W_Des
4.11/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black from the bottle. The nose is very weak with coffee with more of a sweet chocolate being a more dominant note. The taste is bitter sweet chocolate with very light coffee notes here and there and some bourbon and oak notes fading in and out. Overall very underwhelming.

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Photo of lemmy187
4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown with a quick fading head. Nose is full of barrel, chocolate, and wood.....but the coffee is minimal. Taste is well balanced, but once again the coffee is light. Feel is terrific.....medium heavy with medium low carbonation. Overall, a great beer....but was expecting more coffee presence.

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Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
4.26/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Uppers & Downers Festival of Coffee Beers in Chicago - February 2016. Fluffy off-white head. I found the coffee aroma and taste to be pretty subtle. Nice barrel characteristics as always from FW. Mouthfeel was super-creamy, which was the standout for me.

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Photo of stevoj
4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Saturday night bottle share. Bottle share courtesy of Darrel. Incredibly smooth, silky. Best of the best. Absolutely sublime.cFW scores again. I’m not worthy.

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Parabajava from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.