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Parabajava | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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

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: 66 | Ratings: 533
Photo of Jeffo
3.46/5  rDev -23.8%
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 rodbeermunch
3.56/5  rDev -21.6%
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 Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Black with a small khaki head. Smells of sweet chocolate. Big bourbon aroma. Coffee isn't as strong as I had thought. Tastes has more coffee up front. Very sweet chocolate. Oak, bourbon, and vanilla in the finish. Heavy and sweet. I expected more, but it's good.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage

Light khaki head. Dark brown color. Black.

A bit of booze up front. Lots of cocoa. Roasted malts and chocolate. Bitter coffee. Bourbon and vanilla.

This beer is still hot after a year. I am not too impressed with it. Not very drinkable.

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Photo of jtirpak22
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a standard IS, thick brown and dark, thinnish brown head.

Smell is coffee and a little roasty, some chocolate.

Taste is coffee, moderate, not overwhelming or strong.

Mouthfeel is moderate, thinner than expected.

Overall I'm not sold. The hype train left the station before I tried this and I don't see it. It's a solid if unspectacular beer. I get to drink Fremont Coffee KDS on the regular and there is NO comparison. FW is good but can't stand up. Nice beer though. 4.25/5 for me.

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Photo of W_Des
4.11/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 279 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
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 SteveB24
4.23/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Part of a tasting session, poured into a snifter;
Color is a brown that is near black, with an oily shine to it, pours a half finger of brown head that quickly settles into a thin ring of lacing.
Smell-Lots of coffee, with hints of oak, vanilla, cocoa, and dark fruit, some booze is definitely there on this one.
Taste-Roasted malt flavors of cake, dark fruit, brown sugar and cocoa are there but subtle, the flavor is dominated by strong coffee, there is a better kick that somewhat compliments the sweet malt notes, sigh bit of booze.
Feel-Full bodied and pretty oily, identical texture to Parabola IMO.
Overall-Really tasty beer, i think i prefer Parabola but this did it justice as an interesting variation.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Transparent black color with lingering head. Nose is roasty with a hint of coffee. Taste is a bitter coffee with a hint of barrel. Finish is slightly bitter and medium thickness. Overall a solid beer, but nowhere near expectations.

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Photo of aleigator
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Parabajava '15

Pours almost entirely black, with a dark brown ember hint to it, when hold against the light. Got a very nice, one finger broad, bubbly, light brown colored head.

Appears very sweet on the nose with lots of fudge and rock sugar, together with a roasted, earthy coffee bean aroma, like you'll get from an Espresso. The barrel does not appear overly pungent on the nose, while it certainly adds a gentle, oaken spiciness, enhancing the milk chocolate richness on the nose quite a bit. The coffee got a nice blueberry nuance to it, which adds an unexpected, well fitting twist to the nose.

Has a supersmooth, thick mouthfeel. Utmost enjoyable with a warm, spicy ending, revealing the full body of the beer in a challenging, enjoyable way.

Tastes of Bourbon soaked chocolate fudge, wrapped up by spicy oak and earth. Coffee adds a scorched roast profile to silk, creamy milk chocolate, with a flowery sweet rock sugar quality to it. Got a spicy mid palate, defined by the warming, yet smooth appearing Bourbon, together with toasty, nutty coffee and lots of whipped cream. Finishes with bitter chocolate, dry coffee, which develops a noble hop leaf quality, a soft Bourbon tickle and sugared whipped cream.

Awesomly complex, decadent huge, with a convincing base beer, receiving further complexity from the barrel as well as from the coffee. Firestone Walker seems to never disappoint, this is just extremely well put together, making use of the coffee to counter the sweetness from the barrel. Bourbon in this is huge, almost sharp, with a great spiciness, adding to the beer in an uncomprimising way, while the brew itself is bold enough to take it.

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Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
4.26/5  rDev -6.2%
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 eLeMeNOhPee1
4.31/5  rDev -5.1%
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 wulfie85
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
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 frasergrove
4.41/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Barrelworks. Deep brown with a light frothy tan head. Aroma is a pure mixture of cold pressed dark roast coffee, toffee, with vanilla notes. A touch of bright coffee acidity up front and hot alcohol, which quickly mellows to a smooth bourbon mid body. A delicious coffee bourbon stout which will be even more amazing in a few years time.

 349 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of toffee and caramel on the front end with brown sugar, hazelnut, maple and bourbonesque cream. The coffee is actually secondary to the much stronger Barleywine characters. Listed as an Imperial Stout I felt this tasted more like a barrel aged barleywine. Despite that this is delicious.

 294 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes from CollaBREWtive Father's Day Brunch event @ Tiatro.

A: Pours a clear golden with a thin (1/4-inch) white head which fades to the rim and leaves a few spots of lace.

N: Roasted coffee, dark cocoa, hint of boozy bourbon,

T: Complex blending of softly mellow, low acidity, coffee with some fruity citrus and toffee. Slight molasses, smokey oak, bourbon.

M: Semi-full body and medium carbonation. Rich, lusciously smoot,h roasted coffee finish.

O: A delight. Keep it coming! Winner.

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Photo of T_Hass
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
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 John_M
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 16 tons last night.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with excellent head retention, and very fine, almost creamy lacing. This beer looks spectacular (but then what would you expect?). On the nose, this really is just a coffee version of Parabola. It has all the same characteristics of the regular parabola (milk chocolate by the boat load, vanilla, bourbon and milk duds), but with a huge coffee presence as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this rich, sweet, impressive BA stout. The coffee tended to drown out the bourbon and sweetness somewhat, but it still wasn't at all overwhelming. Mouthfeel was very full, and like the regular parabola, the beer was long, fairly soft, and very smooth on the palate. Parabajava seemed to be a bit less boozy than parabola, but this is still a big beer.

Excellent stuff, obviously.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

- 4oz. pour off tap into flight glass at Haven Gastropub (Orange, CA) on 11-Feb-16

This is really nice. A bit of bourbon barrel heat that muddles the flavors a bit, but probably the only flaw I noticed. It's very smooth considering it's at 14% abv. Overall, doesn't beat my personal best barrel-aged coffee stout (BA Vietnamese Speedway), but better than BCBCS and Eclipse Vanilla Java, which is pretty damn impressive.

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Photo of jacewg
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Appearance: (4.5) - Pours a jet black color with a light khaki head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing. Very viscous looking. Big beer

Aroma (4.25) - Lots of coffee roast on the first whiff. Underneath, some vanilla, cream, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of caramel. Just a hint of boozy bourbon.

Flavor (4.75) - Flavor is beautiful and hits all over the map. Big, nicely balanced flavor. Coffee is big but doesn't overshadow flavors of semi-sweet chocolate, cream, vanilla, dark fruit, and booze. Hint of booze on the finish with lingering coffee and chocolate. A subtle bitterness keeps tames the sweetness. Superb.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - Rich, thick mouthfeel. Moderate bitterness helps balance the sweet components of the beer. Finish is long and a bit boozy with lots of coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel totally suits this beast of a beer.

Overall: Excellent beer. Maybe not an improvement upon regular Parabola, but a world-class BA coffee stout.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at hopodyssey's tasting.

Pours an almost opaque super dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, coffee bean, brewed coffee, and cream aromas. Taste is much the same with coffee bean, brewed coffee, cream, cocoa powder, caramel, and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a perfect creamy coffee smell and fantastic flavors.

Serving type: bottle.

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

Mentally comparing to mocha Wednesday which I had on tap at the bruery yesterday. Having this on tap at the barrel works.

Looks like a stout. Bit more foam and head than a lot of barrel aged stouts.

Huge coffee and chocolate smell. Barrel is hidden. Quite good. A bit of a step below the mocha Wednesday.

All coffee and chocolate in the taste with a very smooth mouthfeel. Maybe a little barrel? Really freaking good.

Excellent coffee stout.

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Photo of eifster82
4.51/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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 gcamparone
4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

 985 characters

Photo of lemmy187
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Parabajava from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.54 out of 5 based on 533 ratings.
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