Parabola | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola
BA SCORE
98.2%
Liked This Beer
4.61 w/ 6,539 ratings
ParabolaParabola
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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 Buļ¬€alo Trace.

Added by largadeer on 03-26-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#29
Reviews:
1,252
Ratings:
6,539
Liked:
6,424
Avg:
4.61/5
pDev:
7.59%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
3,145
Gots:
3,727
Trade:
278
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Ratings: 6,539 |  Reviews: 1,252
Photo of SShelly
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Surly Goat, cant wait to secure some bottles.

Aroma is dark and chocolaty, lots of roast and dark malt, vanilla and booze creep in around the edges.

Pour is solid black with a thick brown cascading head.

Flavor follows along with the aroma fairly closely, dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, roast, some backend sweetness, heat in the throat and chest but not really hot in the mouth.

Simply delicious, like I said really cant wait for a bottle or 5 to make it my way, damn fine offering.

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Photo of Overlord
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap near me. Finally.

Pours black. Completely opaque. Sucks light from the surrounding area. Dark brown crust and foam that quickly dies down to edging. Just light swirls of foam coats the brew's top.

Smells, oddly enough, somewhat muted. Hmm.. Some roasted malt, a bit of dark chocolate, more roastiness ... not exactly an aroma bomb.

Taste is much more robust. Superlative, in fact. Layered bourbon with dark and milk chocolate, some roasted cocoa, a ton of vanilla (yum), some bitter aftertaste that's almost like burnt coffee or maybe some sort of hops.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Just pure viscous velvet. One of the best I can recall.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.95/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap for the bottle release (kind of ironic) at the Goat.

Appearance- Black. About a quarter inch of dark brown, mocha head. Settles into a ring. No lacing to speak of.

Smell- Subdued. Roast. Coffee grounds. Some burnt char. As well as some bittersweet chocolate. Toffee.

Taste- Roastiness. It's pretty hot, could certainly use some time to mellow out. Hint of sweet cherry but it's lost behind that roast. Oak and lots of char, like the barrel it was aged in was burned. Similar to the 13th Anniversary, for obvious reasons, but it's less sweet/balanced. There's a reason that beer is blended, because by itself the Parabola is a little intense. Bitter chocolate lingers.

Mouthfeel- Silky smooth. Coats the tongue beautifully. The best part of this beer for sure.

Drinkability- The first third of the pour was very pleasant, but it became a chore to finish. Probably took about 45 minutes. It was quite intense. It tasted like burning. The alcohol really kicks you in the teeth.

This beer needs some time to mellow out. It's pretty hot right now, and the roast is intense. I'd love some more bourbon or vanilla or something to even things out. Basically, I want it to be 13, which it isn't. On it's own it's a good beer, but I just know how much better it could be.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Skuter for getting this out to me.

A: Pours near-black with a nice tan head that sticks around with a bit of lacing.

S: Very, very nice. The first thing I notice is quite a bit of oak alongside some vanilla and bits of char. In the background there are notes of chocolate and roasted coffee.

T: Much the same as the nose, but the roasted malt and oak take over a little bit, not allowing many of the subtle complexities to come through. It is very clear that this played a big role in the final FW13 blend.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium to full body.

D: Quite drinkable, although I really wish that the flavor profile was as well-integrated and complex as the nose. I'm definitely looking forward to trying this with a bit of age on it.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Firestone taproom in Paso Robles, May, 2010. 4oz tasting snifter (several of them).

A - Good two finger head, mocha in color, medium bubbles. The folks at the taproom know how to pour a beer. Very dark, as expected. Just a bit of light around the edges, coffee colored, of course. Decent lacing down the glass -- patchy, no rings. Nice looking beer.

S - Oh my! This is why I drove all the way down here. Strong french roast coffee and dark chocolate in the aroma. More of the coffee as you go along, with the bitterness fading toward the end. Excellent.

T - WOW. This is hard to drink slowly. The coffee is more forward, just how I like it. The sweetness is there in decent amounts, like a chocolate dessert, but the dryness keeps it from being overbearing the some stouts are. I didn't get a whole lot of barrel or bourbon in this, only hints of them, but that didn't hurt it at all. Everything seemed just right. I would have loved to try this with a food pairing, but no luck. Delicious.

M - Velvety. Definitely full bodied, and coats the mouth but then gets out of the way. Carbonation seems just right.

D - Unbelievable that this is 13%. I had four 4oz snifters, and while I definitely felt it, it was all I could do to not just sit and keep ordering more. If I hadn't had to drive two hours to get home, I probably would have. (Edit: just read some of the other reviews, and realized that others said almost the same thing. Nice to know I wasn't the only one.)

Overall -- I want to go back to try it again to be sure, but right now I'm about ready to say that this is the best stout that I've tried to date. Absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine stout, a good showing from the boys in cali. The roast is big, the fruits present, it feels lacking though. I want more vanilla, more licorice, more fire. Stupidly smooth for such a virginal imperial stout, take that as a positive or negative or moot point from whatever your vantage.

I think my hesitation with this beer is the lack of identity. Its like so many other RISs, its just a fairly smooth one. A fine showing, but not one I would put in a fancy box and charge too much for.

I like it, I like it a lot in fact, I just would rather have an abyss.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Following review (written by Nick) based on notes from Saturday, April 3, 2010. Sampled at the Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles, CA.

Served in a 5oz. snifter.

Appearance: A tall, brown, foamy, head emerges from a syrupy, pitch black body (looked like chocolate syrup coming out of the tap). Absolutely no light penetrates the thick, oily, body. Head retains nicely, but loses some of its color with time. Light, sudsy lacing. (4.5)

Smell: Huge toffee, chocolate cake/fudge, and bourbon. Wow! Charred oak, dark chocolate, and loads of malt add to the mix. Absolutely massive! The bourbon burn grows stronger as the beer warms, but never to a point where it's offensive. This would pair fantastically with a rich desert or cigar. I love it! (5.0)

Taste: Lots of dark chocolate, accompanied by bourbon, chocolate mousse, vanilla, and roasted malt. The bourbon is really assertive, and the roasted malt produces some solid bitterness, too. Extremely rich and cake-y. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: I struggled scoring this one; if allowable, I'd give it a 4.25. I love the robust, malty body, but the bourbon burn is pretty harsh. Not as syrupy as expected. Very heavy, warm, and dry. (4.25)

Drinkability: Addictive. I ordered three snifters back-to-back-to-back, and would have kept it going if my ride didn't have to leave. The burn is completely tolerable with all of the other flavors and aromas coming out of this beer. What a beauty! Can't wait til it's bottled! (4.5)

Overall Score from Wiseman Nick: A+ (4.58)

///

The following review is written by Wiseman Justin. He (I) sampled it earlier today (04-14-2010) Following review written from notes. It was hard to average these two reviews due to the disparity however I know Wiseman Nick wouldn't give out a 5 on smell haphazardly as such I did not average out the scores for smell.

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Dark with a tight head. Looks like an exemplar of it's style. Nothing flashy going on. Very light lacing and very little head. 4.0

Smell: I get bourbon and some slight ash/smoke. Slight chocolate. Somewhat boring actually. 3.5

Taste: Taste a lot like a barleywine. The alcohol is very prevalent; chocolate is there along with bourbon and a slight burnt aftertaste. 3.75

Mouthfeel: Slick and slimy. I guess it 'feels' more like a barleywine then it 'tastes' like one. Although this is not necessarily a bad thing at all. 4.0

Drinkability: Not as high as I would hope. There are far more drinkable beers for this style. I will say this; I want the beer Wiseman Nick got. 3.5

Overall Score from Wiseman Justin: B (3.75)

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.46/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn on 3/22/10.

A: I really shouldn't even rate (I mean review) the appearance because the lighting is dim in Spuyten. Poured black with a beige head with big bubbles and swirls throughout. Good lacing too.

S: Wow! Vanilla, oak, maple leaf, faint rum aroma, and most of all ooey gooey caramel - sort of like a Caramello bar.

T: Bittersweet chocolate layered with oaky and vanilla flavors, a caramel filling, and a coffee finish. The taste gets dramatically better as the beers warms up.

M: Silky smooth. I would even go as far to say this was luxurious or elegant.

D: There's no way this is 13%! Not a hint of booze until its already down warming your chest.

What a treat! Thanks to the guys at Spuyten Duyvil!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens on 11/13/09 during their Firestone Walker 13th on the 13th event. Served in a snifter.

Pours an inpenetrable dense black, with a 1/2 finger mix of reddish burnt and chocolately brown head. The retention on this is VERY rich, on the edges, with some thinner wisps in the center, leaving a strong latticework of heavy spotty lacing and brown gooey residue behind. Bourbon, vanilla, and oaky tannins jump out of the aroma at me first. This in no way overruns the nose, as a velvety smooth layer dwells underneath the barrel character, just dripping notes of chocolate syrup, molasses, roasted coffee, flaked oats, licorice, and coconut. Some alcohol hangs heavy with a pang of warmth in the nose, but it never does get overly intrusive or stinging.

The taste starts out with a rich & thick base of dark gooey chocolate, which the other flavors then seem to quickly gather around. Roast, coffee, vanilla, chewy oats, licorice, dark cherries, and finally shredded roasted coconut (which really puts this over the top), all wrap around that big chocolate sweetness, making for about as decadent of a flavor profile as I could hope for or want from this. Bourbon is flavorful (char and molasses are poking out at me) yet it is still fairly restrained in the finish, along with that every present slick woody character. It is just so WELL balanced in here with the other flavors, with the majority of the barrel coming out with a dry flush in the backend of the profile. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge creaminess to it from the oats. That powerful ABV is present (you can literally feel it raging underneath each sip) but the flavors are so equally mammouth here, it just perfectly masks any actual alcohol taste. It pretty much just leaves a slight haze on the breath, with much of any alcohol flavor coming from the bourbon and not the ABV.

Wow, the flavor and complexity of this was just outrageous and it's no wonder that the Anniversary blends are always so awesome with this being a big part of each one. This is one of the finest barrel-aged Stouts I've that I've had this year and I personally think that this is a bit underrated on here. Just fantastic stuff all around!

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Photo of slaintemhor
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the anniversary of Bailey's Taproom in summer of 2009. The colour was black with some caramel coloured edges. The aroma was brimming with toffee, dark chocolate and burnt caramel. On the palate, there was little CO2, but no matter as there was such a viscous character that CO2 seemed trivial. Loads of dark chocolate, coffee, treacle, toffee, caramel, molasses and I think a hint of lust and greed just for good measure.

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Photo of nickd717
4.29/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bunch of this at GABF. All in all, it's a pretty kick-ass imperial stout.

A - Pitch black and viscous with no head to speak of.

S - Aroma is roast, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and wood. Not too much bourbon.

T - Flavor is intense, awesome, and fairly sweet, with roasted malt, coffee, rich chocolate cake, hints of dark fruit, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Nicely balanced. This is, as I would have said 10 years ago in my awkward youth, "the bomb diggity."

M - Mouthfeel is smooth, slick, and viscous with low carbonation.

D - Good for a -bal aged imperial stout.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Palms 1st Anniversary

A: Dark as night and wonderful viscosity to it. No head and no visible carbonation.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, licorice, some graham cracker, and slight booze.

T: A truly amazing beer. Very smooth vanilla flavor from the barrel, lots of chocolate, and some graham cracker. The booze is very well hidden in this monster, as well.

M: Huge body, velvety smooth.

D: I was expecting this one to be really overwhelming, but it wasn't at all. A fantastic beer, one that I wish I could have more often, and I actually ended up buying two glasses of it today.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.57/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Recently enjoyed this on tap at Tornado with abfraser.

A: A great looking stout with a small mocha colored head which recedes to lacing that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Pretty much black - no light getting through this one.

S: Fantastic smell - getting a load of candied sugar, chocolate, actually smells somewhat like an almond joy bar put into a blender and mixed with coffee and bourbon. The alcohol smacks you in the face with this one - you can tell it's a bit hot.

T: Taste follows the smell and the alcohol is again very apparent. Has a strong kick at the beginning followed by a rich, chocolaty mocha aftermath. There is a bit of a bite on the tail end with the higher abv warming its way into your stomach. Given that this is the base beer for the 12th anniversary blend the two are very similar.

M: Great creamy texture with good level of carbonation - not too thick but coats the mouth and leaves a bit of coffee aftertaste on the palate.

D: I'd love to put back this stuff all day but with the high octane it will put you on your ass. The only detriment and one thing that could improve it just a bit is to dial back some of the heat. One of the best imperial stouts out there.

Overall an awesome brew that I'm glad to have had the chance to try.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Draught at The Blue Palms. Black with a small tan head. Smooth deeply roasted malt and bourbon aroma. The flavor is an integrated blend of dark chocolate cake, caramel, vanilla, and light bourbon. The wood shows lightly but the overall barrel character is very integrated into the whole presentation of the beer, and the heat from the bourbon doesn't approach the richness of the malt. Thick with a silky texture. Probably the best bourbon-aged stout that I've had. The aging adds lots of complexity without drowning out the base beer. Firestone Walker needs to quite wasting all of this in the anniversary blends and bottle it as a separate release.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at For The Love of Hops Festival - Two Brothers Brewing Co, Warrenville, IL. 9oz serving in a plastic cup (unfortunately).

Poured black with a light brown head that dissipated quickly, but expected given the ABV. Aromas were rich with hints of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, bourbon, booze, vanilla, oak. Tastes were full and rich also - bold roasted malts, dark chocolate sweetness that lingers with notes of coffee, anise, bourbon, vanilla, oak, toasty grain. Mouth-feel was thick, smooth, and creamy - excellent! Finished with a hint of pepper as the dark chocolate lingers on the palate with the bourbon and vanilla. I had no clue this was 13% ABV while drinking it, and would recommend this to anyone who can get their hands on it! Excellent treat to have this one on tap!

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Photo of tjthresh
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer at The Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer 08. This beer pours black with a brown head. The aroma is light toast with plenty of chocolate and fruit. Well balanced bourbon, oak, and chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel is oily and the finish is sweet.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ.

The beer was a dark coal black with a dense brown head.

The aroma of the beer was of roated coffee, intense malt, licorice, chocolate, vanilla, and alcohol.

The flavor of the beer was intesely malty. Chocolate, coffee, chewy malt, and notes of licorice made up the bulk of the flavor. The bourbon notes peaked through with some vanilla and oak accents. The hops hit towards the finish and helped balance out some of the sweetness of the beer.

The carbonation was soft and complimented the flavors well. The slightly viscous mouthfeel was not quite as heavy as I would have expected for a beer this beer. This beer coated your mouth with intense flavors that seamlessly cascaded from one to the other. The 13% alcohol was very well hidden.

This is a wonderful beer with tremendous complexity. Enjoyed best over an hour's period to allow it to warm and transition through a myriad of rich flavors. Very drinkable for such a big beer. I had no trouble enjoying a full-sized glass.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.2/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 4/15/08. On tap at Hamilton's Tavern and poured to a Chimay chalice.

A: Poured and presented black and flat. Looks just like old coffee.
S: Rich with bourbon and strong alcohol on the nose. Hints of candy, caramel and brown sugar break through.
T: Sweet and warm scotch/bourbon flavors. Hints of milk chocolate and dark fruits.
M: Thick body that sticks to your mouth. Alcohol is apparent, but surprisingly still smooth.
D: Rich, smooth, complex, refined. Very tasty. A great post-dinner treat, or if just want to spoil yourself, drink it whenever.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.79/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extreme Beer Fest 2/15/08: I thought this was a very complex beer. Initial taste was of a stout, with notes of smoke, roast, bitterness. Then the bourbon started to kick in, followed by a sweet chocolate finish. I thought the bourbon complemented this beer very well.
8/3/8/4/16 (3.9/5)

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Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/15/08- Had on tap in samplers at the Barrel Aged festival at the Bistro in Hayward, CA.

Presentation- Via the tap into small taster glasses.

Appearance- Pitch black in color. Drity white slight creamy head. Left behind sticky patches of lace.

Smell- Rich in roasted caramel, bittersweet chocolate and mild coffee notes. Light fusel alcohol notes.

Taste- A mixture of everything. Mild bitter hops, medium dark chocolate with a nice dash of sweetness, slight grain flavor noted...vanilla oaky barrel taste, nice bourbon barrel base. Coffee is there, but toward the back because of all the other flavors. Even some booze soaked dates.

Mouthfeel- Thick, viscous, creamy, but with all that a higher rate of carbonation.

Drinkability- I could easliy buy this if it came out in bottles. A 12oz bottle would be sufficient.

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Photo of BrewMonkey
4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the West Coast Barrel Aged Fest in Hayward, CA

Pours deadly black with tan head. Aroma is initially very bourbon dominated, with some roasty quality breaking through. Flavor is more roasty than the aroma, but still takes a back seat to the bourbon and vanilla notes. Hints of chocolate and oak and a slight tannic bite in the finish.

Very good, though a bit more harsh than expected, but it was very cool tasting another component of the anniversary ales as a stand alone offering.

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Photo of younger35
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Sampled" this at the Sixth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers. I say sampled because I used 3-4 tickets on this stuff. Was "Best of Show" for me. Drank out of my mini little pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brownish black with some really dark brown hues around the edges of the glass where light is able to faintly penetrate. Fairly nice half finger tan head forms but recedes pretty quickly leaving almost no cap and ultra thin collar. Negative on much lacing.
Smell- Powerful stuff. Loads of spicy whiskey and vanilla that reminds me a lot of Bourbon County Stout from the start. Very roasted with intensely sweet fumes of molasses, caramel, dark brown sugar and even some black licorice for good measure. The usual suspects of dark chocolate and French roasted coffee are present as well as some alcohol vapors.
Taste- Just as intense! Starts with an intense oaky vanilla kick before it slowly melds to a very chocolaty tootsie roll like middle. Lightly sweet with a bit of caramel and burnt sugars. A bit of bitterness does sneak in toward the finish though and I'm assuming that's more from the roasted grains than any real hop presence. Woody and almost spicy at times, overall the bourbon is king in here. A dark fruitiness creeps in as the beer warms but nothing to over-the-top.
Mouthfeel- Fairly heavy body with very low carbonation that adds a very slick, creamy feel. Spicy and fairly warming from the alcohol.
Drinkability- This was my favorite beer of the show. It was the first beer I tried when I walked in. After trying Erik's Ale next, I went straight back to Parabola. The whole thing really reminds me of BCS with how intense the bourbon is but with a spicy kick. Fantastic beer that I kicked myself in the ass for not trying at DLD and am really glad I got to try it now.

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

Sampled at the Sixth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer.

A - Pitch black, with a healthy amount of head and light carbonation. Very ominous looking brew.

S - This one took a while to warm up - but when it did, wow! Molasses, rye & bourbon whiskey, marzipan, toffee, and oak. A really distinct and unusual collection of flavors.

T - Really hits you with the wood & whiskey on the front palate, then rewards you with a little sweetness at the back. Pretty potent.

M - Creamy, but not as viscous a I expected. I couldn't think of much else to say - a little generic.

D - The strong whiskey aftertaste would pretty much limit me to one of these in an evening.

Wish we got more Firestone Walker stuff in Chicago...

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Photo of biegaman
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A snifter of the very first pour from a freshly tapped keg. On-tap at the brewery in Paso Robles, August 2008.

What I couldn't be sure was the darkest shade of black I'd ever seen in a beer, could still certainly be considered among them. Although opaque and certainly dark it could not conceal its sleek luster. Its head - remarkably in good standing for a beer this strength - was mocha late brown. The streamlining of lace was exceptional.

Your mind can be swayed just about any which way with an aroma like this. The smell was paradoxically sweet and bitter with forcible notes of anise, oak, vanilla, tannins, and dark berries. It offers every enticement for you to just keep your nose fixed right there.

Its very initial impressions on the palate are boozy and sweet and have the mark of a port or sherry. It is robust with fruity esters and flavours of red grapes, dark berries, and the remnants of rich fortified wine. But this is not even half the story.

Once settled into the back of the mouth, your tongue will pick up on an entirely different cast of flavours. Here anise spice, black licorice, bittersweet chocolate, dark caramel, and soft fudge set in. The oak becomes buttery and vanilla is introduced.

With swallowing, the whole package - tannic red wine, aged sherry, chocolate fudge and vanilla scented oak - coat the palate with a bittersweet glaze and then gracefully pass down the throat as one. It may be hard to believe but the texture is almost creamy, like a freshly whipped mousse.

There's really no way around the high gravity. Thirteen is a lot of percentage to hide even for a beer with this much taste. To get around it, however, the blending and barrel aging have integrated the alcohol amongst the flavours and proportioned just the right amount of heat to each mouthful. Besides, sipping is only appropriate for a beer this rich.

What can be said of this creation? It was outstanding. Like the Firestone 10 and 11, it is the result of skilled blending and masterful craftsmanship. Consider brewing and blending as an art - this is certainly one of its masterpieces.

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Photo of abfraser
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for City Beer Store's Firestone night in August.

A: Dark black with cream colored head.

S: Whiskey oak, roasted malt

T: Creamy, sugary, coffee-like, with definite oak notes from the whiskey aging. Great stuff.

M: Good full bodied, creamy mouthfeel

D: Dangerously drinkable giving its abv.

An exceptional stout. Was very happy to get a chance to try this. I really wish Firestone would up the production of this kind of stuff so it's not next to impossible to get.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 98.2% out of 100 with 6,539 ratings
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