Parabola - Double Barrel-Aged
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Parabola - Double Barrel-AgedParabola - Double Barrel-Aged
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From:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #29
ABV:
15.5%
Score:
97
Ranked #755
Avg:
4.49 | pDev: 5.35%
Reviews:
12
Ratings:
23
Status:
Active
Rated:
Oct 14, 2022
Added:
Nov 14, 2020
Wants:
  4
Gots:
  0
SCORE
97
World-Class
Parabola - Double Barrel-AgedParabola - Double Barrel-Aged
Notes: Imperial stout aged in bourbon & wheated whiskey barrels.

We doubled down on our signature Parabola to create this limited small-batch release. While Parabola is historically aged for one year in premium bourbon barrels, we transferred this edition to a separate lot of wheat whiskey barrels for another 12 months, for a total of 24 months. The result is an impossibly smooth sipping experience, offering all of the richness and intensity of Parabola with an added dimension of fudge and cereal grain-like goodness.
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Photo of Sandis
Rated by Sandis from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2021 version poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter at home. Slightly thicker than most renditions of this beer. Roasty and boozy. Excellent.
Oct 14, 2022
 
Rated: 4.59 by petewheeler from Maryland

Oct 11, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Oct 09, 2022
 
Rated: 4.34 by fthegiants from California

Aug 02, 2022
Photo of maximum12
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Found someone willing to part with this 12 oz. bottle & pounced like it was Ricky Henderson with his back turned.

The pour is parabolic black with minimal eye-pleasing bubbles (& frankly, eye-pleasing is about ninth on my list). Nose brings mild chocolate, wild bourbon, & charred roast. Nose-pleasing.

Parabola – Double Barrel was my favorite beer at FOBAB ’21. Parabola appears: chocolate, roast, vanilla, but is quickly overwhelmed by luscious barrel. Bourbon, rye, booze, oaky nipples burst forth like a blessing from Zeus, tangling with the into a tasty, boozy big stout. Deeply sweet. Feels thicker than the base, which it’s likely not. I could pump this into my veins for as long as the supply held out. In fact, I tried at FOBAB. Great afternoon. Morning, not so much.

Not quite ready to build any temples to this brew like I was that beer-soaked afternoon in Chicago, but an excellent beer with great use of barrels.
Jun 14, 2022
 
Rated: 4.59 by DOCRW from Washington

Jun 09, 2022
 
Rated: 4.04 by stephenlee93 from England

Jun 05, 2022
 
Rated: 4.66 by Bruno74200 from France

May 25, 2022
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.71/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
I first spotted and bought the Firestone Amburana beer in the same shop and came upon this from the same brewery there today. My my, the rating prior to mine is a thumping 97-World Class, but mine will be the first rating ex-US and IDR ever finding a beer ... essentially perfect before. Not even the legend and godly brew Westvleteren-8.

L- You know you have a beast when it pours silently. Not a glug nor a splash; nothing. Thick and inky black with a 1Cm foam cap prominently dappled between white and dark tan (some late sedimentin the pour?). Holds well for the ABV% and the cheap cordial glass I'm inflicting on this brew. ps. and it holds up for several minutes = good.
S- Holy mama, whiskey right left and centre. Then I ponder if some consider it a negative that liquor is all I get on the Smell.... hmmm...
T- I involuntarily physically shudder+head-shake on the 1st swallow. It happens sometimes but not often, usually on really unbalanced/OTT [to me!] beers where the ABV or similarly imapctful aspect instantly stuns. Boof! I suggest you need to be a whiskey/Scotch fan to be fully with this palate, it is very, very, very intensely whiskeyish. There is a clear sweet and viscous facet running afterwards too. The roast is deep - it has to be to hold up it's side of the spectrum! - but I'm not really able to divine the detail through the quite shouty (errr British understatement there; this is YELLING) ABV%
F- This is a big beast, massive, but also there is nothing subtle or understated about it (which exists but takes reeeeally clever brewing; x-ref Icelandic big-%beasts where they seem to get it). Yep, this beer is instantly absolutely right in your face solid and it lacks subtlety, charm or detail; esp. as it warms a touch.
O- To me this is more about being out there pushing boundaries, say an exhibition piece, a talking point,. I doubt I could drink this single bottle in under 30minutes it's such an OTT (to me!) slow-sipper. I've reviewed beers up over 18% and ones above this here that have managed to find the art of retaining finesse. It gets exponentially harder the higher the ABV, certainly above 10%. This one goes for the jugular. I notice that I'm dwelling in this review heavily on the whiskey and the ABV%. QED folks, that's my point, and whilst it's a heck of a statement, and a $$$ one, it's also why I don't consider it something special I'd buy again.

Bought at the '''Small Cave of Big Surprises''' aka Bacchanalia drinks shop in Cambridge/UK. 355ml bottle £12.50
May 11, 2022
 
Rated: 4.4 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Mar 06, 2022
Photo of JohnnyHopps
Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance - The beer was deep black in appearance with a tan ring of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The malt from the stout and the booze came out in the nose with hints of chocolate.

Taste - Thick chocolate began the taste profile before yielding to raisins and fruit leathers. It was not overly sweet, with no unnecessary ingredients. It was well balanced, having just the right amount of bourbon heat.

Mouthfeel - The body was thick with little carbonation and clinging power.

Overall - Regular Parabola was improved.
Feb 27, 2022
 
Rated: 4.55 by scottyshades from Florida

Feb 01, 2022
Photo of Cpmitchno1
Rated by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Absolutely sublime. Parabola is fantastic, but this is even better.
Jan 29, 2022
 
Rated: 4.04 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jan 17, 2022
 
Rated: 4.58 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Jan 16, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by kevindp9 from Arizona

Jan 06, 2022
Photo of Kazmo
Rated by Kazmo

5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Overall maybe my favorite stout. Normal parabola was my favorite, and they made it better with DBP.
Dec 02, 2021
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Glossy black with a lumpy, frothy tan head of moderate height slowly settling to a fine collar.

My first impression is that it's mildly roasty and tannin heavy of dark cacao. Further into a pour, it progresses to a nice barrel char that brings a rush of vanillin before a light, clean heat cuts us to a chewy dry finish where notes of Tootsie Roll and cigar contrast each other in the exhale.

A 2021 FOBAB medal winner that I wholeheartedly agreed with.
Nov 24, 2021
 
Rated: 4.81 by MJSFS from Florida

Nov 17, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Classical medium black body with a brown head that slowly fades into a ring. Great bourbon and whiskey melding with toasted caramel, so many dark fruits, black strap molasses, brown sugar, char, leather, dark chocolate, light earth, and an amazingly expressive wood that is complex and rewarding. Taste is just like parabola but with a touch more vanillin and a ton more wood, prefer the original but this is an incredible stout in its own right, very complex while composed. Feel is amazingly deep: various barrels, earthy tones, and smoky malts all felt. Great job yet again FW!
Nov 17, 2021
 
Rated: 4.48 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Nov 15, 2021
Photo of Herbabee
Reviewed by Herbabee from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
pardon my brevity... but (just from scent alone).... this is like Parabola lost its virginity. One bottle left.... aggressively locked in the vault.

Flat pour. Strong. Barrel. Crazy swallow.

May very easily top the venerated GI BCBS... ??

Get 'em. if ya can.
Nov 04, 2021
Photo of sjrider
Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottle pour - dark as night with quickly dissipating chocolate milk head leaving a ring of tiny bubbles. Nose is sweet roasty malt and boozy barrel wood. Taste follows in a big way, this is not for amateurs! Lingering boozy barrel on a dryish finish. Boozy deliciousness!
Nov 02, 2021
Photo of thebeers
Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours a deep black with two fat fingers of dark mocha head. Solid retention for the ABV, eventually leaving a fairly thick wisp and crown, but no real lacing.

Plenty of barrel in the nose, with hints of vanilla, cherry and toffee, and strong dark chocolate, caramel and nougat underneath.

Nice dark malt flavors — including more dark chocolate and a touch of ash — play off well against the strong barrel presence and some great alcohol burn. There’s again some caramel, along with some vanilla and brownie batter, but they only just peaks out beneath the bitter, darker, oaky, ashy components.

Slick, full-bodied feel with light, tight carbonation.

They type of beer that will put hair on your chest. Great RIS base with loads of bourbon additions.
Oct 16, 2021
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a bottle at fridge temp. Pours a gorgeous black with tan head.

Nose: This is Parabola on steroids! Dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, dates, prunes, brown sugar, and a nice layer of roasted malts. This smells incredible!

Taste: Magical. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, black licorice, burnt toffee, bourbon, and tons of dark fruit. Blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, figs, dates, and plums. So much going on here. The Parabola is definitely here, but the flavors are amped up. I could sip on this for hours.

Mouthfeel and overall: The mouthfeel is just under the thick category. It's not syrupy, but it's not thin. The aftertaste is sweet toffee, and it's lovely. Overall, this is a huge winner for me.
Oct 10, 2021
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Reviewed by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Tasted in a snifter from draft at Consume on October 2, 2021. The double barrel treatment adds a layer of depth and richness. Highly recommended if you can find it.
Oct 05, 2021
 
Rated: 4.49 by BarrelAgedG from California

Aug 25, 2021
 
Rated: 4.38 by SMH_NWI from Texas

Jul 29, 2021
Photo of fstone
Reviewed by fstone from California

4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Look: Deep brown boardering black. Thin mocha head with surprising retention for this abv

Smell: wheated whisky really shines here. Cereal grain. Dark chocolate. Oak. Light coffee. Boozy

Taste: fudge, coffee, cereal grain, oak, bourbon. Nice bitterness on the back end. Taste lingers on the tongue. Boozy but does not reveal the 15.5 abv.

Feel: velvety like regular Parabola. Full body experience that coats the tongue. Still, would need to be a tad thicker to really push this beer to perfect score status.

Overall: absolutely fantastic. Even more body would put this beer closer to a 5 for me.
Jun 04, 2021
 
Rated: 4.44 by mig100 from Texas

May 09, 2021
 
Rated: 4.5 by moltch from Massachusetts

Apr 30, 2021
 
Rated: 4.18 by johnInLA from California

Mar 24, 2021
 
Rated: 4.78 by Beer21 from Florida

Mar 16, 2021
 
Rated: 4.51 by bret27 from California

Mar 16, 2021
Photo of IKR
Reviewed by IKR from California

4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2021 Vintage

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a modest sized beige head that quickly faded. A good looking imperial Stout but the head was smaller and shorter lasting than the regular 2021 Parabola I recently had.

Smell: Prominent Whisky aromas, brown sugar aromas, and faint vanilla notes. A Whisky lovers dream.

Taste: Bourbon/whiskey notes, moderate roasted malts, brown sugar, mild vanilla and tannic oak notes. The oak notes are definitely more pronounced than the regular Parabola and while the beer starts off moderately sweet, the roasted malts and tannic oak notes dry the beer out in the finish. I definitely found this one a bit drier than the regular Parabola. The bal-aging elements are readily apparent. For a beer at 15.5% ABV, the alcohol presence is fairly mild.

Mouth-feel: On the heavier side of medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation. A good mouthfeel in this beer.

Overall: A good Parabola variant but I'm conflicted on the value of the additional year of bal-aging. The increase in the bal-aging elements is nice, but for me, the added alcohol presence doesn't add anything. Very smooth for the listed ABV though and worth a try.
Mar 01, 2021
Parabola - Double Barrel-Aged from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 35 ratings