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: 81 | Ratings: 658
Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes a ways back…
Not quite jet black, dark head, heavy coffee notes, burnt beans soaked in bourbon. Brown sugar, more coffee, charred barrel, faint booze, not crazy complex but everything’s so intense. Has some weight, enough bubbles to give it some life and very mild heat for 14%

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great stout, wish we could get this in AL. It was thick with lots of chocolate and great coffee notes. Smooth drinking with just enough BA character. Really good!

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5000th review! 22 ounce bottle into snifter; 2015 vintage, bottled on 10/20/2015. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge nutty dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, fudge, vanilla, cream, toasted oak, bourbon, and dark bread; with lighter notes of dark fruit, smoke, charcoal, leather, and roast/oak/toasted earthiness. Touch of booze in the aromas as it warms, but really minimal. Incredible aromas with amazing balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge nutty dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, fudge, vanilla, cream, toasted oak, bourbon, and dark bread; with lighter notes of dark fruit, smoke, charcoal, leather, and roast/oak/toasted earthiness. Moderate roast/char bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of nutty coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, fudge, vanilla, cream, toasted oak, bourbon, dark bread, light dark fruit/smoke, and roast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast bitterness and oak spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and fairly sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden; a small pleasant warmth lingers after the finish, with minimal barrel booziness. Overall this is an insane BBA imperial coffee stout! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. The balance of malt, coffee, and barrel flavors is pretty much perfect; with some nice underlying complexity from the age of the bottle. This felt far more aromatic and less boozy than the base beer when I originally had it. A highly amazing offering all around.

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Photo of crob3888
4.99/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Parabola's equal in every way. Super chocolatey, some espresso content (which seems to have faded a bit with age), and a good amount of vanilla/marshmallow sweetness and wonderful dark fruit/leather bourbon and oak qualities. Boozy but not super hot. Just outstanding. Let it warm and drink it slow! Savor it.

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Photo of FFreak
4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 bottle poured into a teku. Dark brown, almost black with a very short java head that drops leaving just a ring. Excellent nose and taste....fantastic. Feel could be a bit thicker, although I actually prefer a less viscous stout. Overall, an incredibly good BA coffee stout.

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Photo of DavidSomers
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I mean this is pretty simple to review. It's Parabola, but with coffee. Absolutely terrific beer. Great mouthfeel. Smooth bourbon barrel age influence. And the coffee is a nice plus.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours light brown, looks dark ruby red in the glass. Pourded with a half finger of head that lingers pretty long.
S: a nice blend of coffee and bourbon. The coffee is bright and fruity vs dark and rich coffee. Smooth bourbon, nice aroma, but not too robust.
T: much like the aroma, fruity/lighter coffee, smooth bourbon. It's lacking chocolate richness.
F: smooth but fairly thin. It's highly carbonated with tingly bubbles...not my preference in ba stouts.
O: good, not great. Let down a bit.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.97/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - nice dark brown/black beer with some head that leaves reasonable lacing
S - big coffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, toasted coconut, chocolate (dark and milk), cocoa, amazing
T - also big coffee, bourbon, oak up front, vanilla, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, then molasses, caramel, wholesome/umami flavor, toasted coconut
M - big thick, heavy beer, alcohol completely covered at 13%, aftertaste is coffee, bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate.
O - great beer. Only two coffee bba impy stouts make my best beers of all time list - parabajava and kbs. The rest ive tried including NH Dragons Milk w coffee and chocolate and Avery Tweak just arent that good. Parabajava and Parabola are about the same to me, theyre just different sub-styles of the same style -> basically both 5/5 beer to me.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this 2015 the other night. The coffee seemed to drop off a little bit but it was still really good. Had it alongside other big name stouts and this one was probably the winner. It had a nice boozy bite had that parabola taste but the coffee came through great at the end. Definitely going to chase down some 2016 parabajava.

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Photo of kborning
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap, 2016 variant. What could be wrong with this? Coffee added to Parabola! NOTHING! Incredible beer. Nose is not as prominent as the taste, but this is incredible. Wish I had a bottle to age.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, 2016 release. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark brown body, nearly black, opaque with a nice bubbly one finger offwhite head, good retention, even a bit of lacing. Smells of rich bourbon, chocolate, brownies, fair bit of espresso, vanillin, oak. This is a very impressive aroma; the coffee doesn't seem to come across as strongly as say, BCBCS, but it seems to play more of a complementary role here. Flavour is similar; the coffee is there but it's not overpowering, it adds to the complexity of the base Parabola with plenty of brownies, milk chocolate, oak, touch of leather, vanillin, even a touch of bitter, earthy dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, creamy with good carbonation and solid effervescence. Overall, a nice complex dessert beer with a touch of espresso. It's not a huge coffee bomb, be forewarned, but you aren't going to miss that too much if you enjoy the base Parabola.

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Photo of Gambyt20
5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Only beer I went in line twice to get a second pour at FoBAB, even more complex and balanced than Parabola with the coffee element. I love coffee beers and Parabola being probably my favorite BA stout this just goes over the top. This beer need nationwide distro!

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Photo of BergBeer
4.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Oily opaque black with almost no head. Mild activity. Poured thick.

Smell: Rich dark chocolate, dates, fig jam, vanilla, cold brew coffee, bourbon, and a toffee sweet note. Thick and heavy on the nose.

Taste: Decadent brownie batter soaked in bourbon. Notes of undiluted cold brewed coffee, vanilla, a smoky bourbon, lightly bitter roasted malt, and some dark pitted fruit notes.

Feel: Viscous and heavy. This beer moves like molasses across the palate slowly coating every inch. Booze is present in a slight heat on the throat and warming in the chest.

Overall: Brilliant. Bourbon soaked brownie batter is the best way to explain it only improved with coffee. The amount of intense flavors that layer on top of each other is incredible. Especially how they all play their part with none becoming overwhelming. The coffee is a brilliant edition that shines through perfectly to compliment the base beer. One of the best beers I've ever had

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage poured into tulip

L - Very dark brown. Not motor oil black as I was expecting. Little to no head.

S - Excellent bourbon and coffee in your face but not over bearing.

T - Fantastically delicious. Tons of coffee, bourbon, notes of toffee and caramel. Very rich and decadent.

F - Thick and viscous. No booze burn at all. This is absolutely delicious.

O - My personal favorite of all the FW BA box beers. Might very well be the best BA Coffee Stout I've ever had. If not the best, it's definitely up there.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -12.3%
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 wellsnb
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage enjoyed on 10/7/2016. I probably waited a little too long on this one - wish I could have had fresh, but this beer does not disappoint. Nice coffee (still) works well with the parabola.

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Photo of aleigator
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
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 rodmanfor3
4.6/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The big question on everyone's mind going into the Parabajava tasting was how this coffee infused version of Parabola would compare to its regular, non-adjunct barrel aged version.

The answer is simple: Parabajava tastes better, but only marginally.

Take everything you like about Parabola, add a touch of coffee flavor to round out the flavor, subtract a little bit of heat from the alcohol and balance it out with a mild chili peppper presence, and finish clean and smooth like every bottle (or box or draft) of Parabola you have ever had.

Certainly an enjoyable beer but not worth the extra effort to try and acquire it when Parabola is regularly available.

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Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
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 Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -19.3%
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 gibgink
4.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Giving this beer the score that mimics my rating of Parabola, as it is just as tasty as that beer. However, I will note that this beer was shared with 7 people, and I do not remember anyone getting any coffee flavor from the beer.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is awesome. Smells like a fresh batch of coffee brownies dipped in bourbon. The mouthfeel is a nice medium plus. This is a step up from the original. Well done, firestone walker. Well done.

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Photo of eifster82
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Lochnessmonster
4.8/5  rDev +5.3%
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 +3.9%
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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Parabajava from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
4.56 out of 5 based on 658 ratings.
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