Firestone-Walker: Paraboloid

Discussion in 'Extreme Beer Box: BIG STOUTS (2023)' started by Todd, Jan 15, 2023.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,172) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Please use this thread to discuss and post pics for...

    Firestone-Walker Brewing Co.
    15% | 12oz bottle
    Our signature Parabola Imperial Stout achieves new heights in this limited small-batch release. We aged it in an equal selection of rare older-stock barrels for two years, specifically, 14-year Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels and 18-year Sazerac Rye whiskey barrels. These barrels complemented Parabola's classic dark chocolate, cherry and vanilla flavors by imparting hints of stone fruits, fudge, leather and peppery spice. The result cultivates an ultra-smooth mouthfeel for this prodigiously flavorful beer.

    ...and don't forget to rate the beer (click on the beer name above and then "Rate It") on BeerAdvocate!
  2. phthisis37

    phthisis37 Crusader (417) Dec 15, 2011 Florida

    This is a big beer that goes down way too easy. Hits all the right notes on the flavor but I feel like it misses a little on the mouth feel for me. I would like a bit more oily feel or chewiness to it. Anyway great to try it as it isn't available here.
  3. cryptichead

    cryptichead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,541) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Data Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Great avatar and glassware!

    This is the one I wanted to try the most. Should get my chance next weekend hopefully
  4. bluejacket74

    bluejacket74 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,709) Jul 4, 2005 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Society

  5. eppCOS

    eppCOS Grand Pooh-Bah (3,844) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Started my big box with this Paraboloid, fantastic. Maybe my new fave from the series from FW. Big, balanced, classy - hits all the right notes for roast, barrel, sweetness without being cloying. Complex too if you let it warm up properly - combinations of toast, licorice, oak, peat, whisky (duh), dark chocolate, some marshmallow char in the mix. I think it's only weak point is the appearance, lack of lacing, or head for very long. But I forgive it. *wink*
    MadMadMike, Jaycase, cjgiant and 5 others like this.
  6. dbl_delta

    dbl_delta Grand Pooh-Bah (3,715) Sep 22, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Extreme Beer Box #10 for me. Bottle cellared at 54.1° poured into pint glass Viscous dark brown with minimal lacing. I get dark chocolate, dark fruits, booze, and a hint of roasted malts. Somewhat spicy. Mouthfeel is thick, with a bit of prickly carbonation. Finish fades to dark chocolate and booze. Very enjoyable, but not my box favorite.
  7. PurdueBrad

    PurdueBrad Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2020 Illinois

    This was really high on my list to try. I love truly big stouts and at 15% this should be in my wheelhouse. It surprised me in some ways that I am still not sure about. For a big stout, it really didn't drink thick at all. It actually has a light/thin mouth feel that I wasn't expecting. It does have a nice boozy flavor, the barrel aging absolutely comes through, especially the rye to me. It is a solid beer, not my favorite which surprised me, but a solid big stout, I just wanted it to be chewier.
  8. Jasonrm72

    Jasonrm72 Maven (1,320) Apr 29, 2012 Colorado

    Not bad, but I was a little disappointed. I found it to be thinner than I like. I know they change Parabola every release, I've had some I loved (2012) and ones I've hated (2013) with the releases since being good to very good.
    Paraboloid falls into Good for me. Flavor is fine, just too thin on the body.
    DIM, bluejacket74, sulldaddy and 2 others like this.
  9. DIM

    DIM Grand Pooh-Bah (3,772) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Best in show for me. I love extended barreling and this is a magnificent example of it.


    There is a rye whiskey/molasses note dominating this that I'm loving. I also get dark European chocolate, plenty of roasty char, plus hints of anise. If you think all big beer needs to be viscous and sticky, you might find this thin. I find the mouthfeel wonderfully smooth. This is an all-timer.
  10. Luscious_Malfoy

    Luscious_Malfoy Grand Pooh-Bah (5,107) Oct 5, 2016 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader


    this is probably my favorite from the box so far. tons and tons of barrel with a velvety, chocolaty base stout. delicious.
  11. kalexeff

    kalexeff Devotee (354) Nov 15, 2020 Ohio

    My 12th and final sample out of EBB: Big Stouts. Ruby brown with a thin brown head that dissipated quickly. Hints of cherry, bourbon, & caramel in the nose. Dark flavor with hints of bitter chocolate, coffee roast, & ripe plum, followed by a touch of brown sugar sweetness, and then a peppery spice on the finish. The bourbon barrel highlights are subtle and complementary. Quite smooth for 15% ABV. Beautiful!
  12. mwilbur

    mwilbur Pooh-Bah (1,770) Dec 2, 2007 Minnesota

    #5 for me and it’s another dinger! Crazy good barrel characteristics (sweet bourbon, spicy rye, super smooth oaky vanilla, leather, tobacco, etc). The chocolate fudge is super strong in the aroma, but settles in nicely with the rest of the elements in the taste. The literal cherry on top are the fruit elements of boozy cherry up front and stone fruit which emerges in the finish…adds another couple layers to an already super complex beer.
  13. pulse

    pulse Zealot (609) Mar 22, 2016 Ohio

    #4. Was looking forward to this one, first time getting ahold of a Firestone Walker brew. My sense of smell isn't good, but the nose seems pretty complex. It's got that oaky, spicy quality on top of the usual chocolate and coffee stout stuff. I'm pretty impressed at how well everything blends together with all the aspects being identifiable. Even for someone like me, with little knowledge of spirits and confidence in smell and taste, I think it's easy to get what this is going for, and it's the opposite of the adjunct-heavy stout. The barrel-aged qualities feel identifiable - the rye seems really present over the more common chocolate, malty quality. Definitely makes me think of smoke, leather, and pepper as well as stone fruit. And it's stupidly smooth - would never have known the high ABV if I wasn't already feeling it. And I can see why some would think it a little on the thin side, but it's fine with me here.
  14. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Maven (1,436) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Beer #7 from the box and hoo boy, this is a stunner. Imma let this warm up, but even a bit out of the fridge, this is really complex and balanced. Aroma is wonderful with roasty, coffee, leather, and anise notes. There's just a hint of a smoky/tobacco quality there as well. Now, I hate licorice, won't eat the stuff, BUT the anise here is so well-integrated. I'm really impressed with how layered this is. The Rye barrels are the star of the show in the taste. There's some fudge, the aforementioned anise, and a slight plum quality, accompanied by a distinct pepper spiciness that lingers on the tongue. There's some bitter chocolate in the finish providing a nice, smooth landing.

    This is really a well-executed beer. From the aromas wafting out of the glass to the complexity of the flavors to the last vestiges of the finish, all of the sensations are harmonious. Nothing clashes or seems out of place, and none of the sensory qualities overstay their welcome. I can see how some folks would characterize this as "thin" but to my palate, a thicker body would feel heavy-handed and detract from this beer's elegance. Drinking this is just pure joy, wonder, and amazement.
  15. dcat151

    dcat151 Crusader (472) Jan 18, 2022 Georgia

    A dark pour. About an inch of head. Aroma is caramel and bourbon with a little bread. Taste is a lot of chocolate with some bourbon followed by vanilla and bread/yeast. Very creamy mouth feel. There's just a hint of dryness/bitterness at the end that provides balance.
  16. Violentvixen

    Violentvixen Aspirant (287) Jul 25, 2021 Oregon

    I like this. Smooth with great whiskey/bourbon notes. My only complaint is the very personal issue that my alcohol tolerance isn't great and this is hitting me incredibly hard. Oh well!
  17. PittBeerGirl

    PittBeerGirl Pooh-Bah (2,177) Feb 27, 2007 Ohio

    Paraboloid is not my favorite. Probably because I'm not a fan of parabola either.
  18. cryptichead

    cryptichead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,541) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
    Data Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Evidently saving the best for last. World class class. Talk about a masterpiece of balance. Leather, tobacco, and char, in harmony with a beautiful barrel. Nothing overpowers. Works so well together. Slowly evolves as it warms. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV.
  19. webbedtoes

    webbedtoes Crusader (491) Nov 1, 2014 Oregon

    Just a perfect-ly fabulous, delicious, world-class expression of whisky barrel-aging of an enormous, roasty stout. Does it taste like it's 15%? Not really, but still hot enough to justify the rating. Saved this to almost the end; it was a toss-up between this and WWS. No regertsfor Dogfish taking the ultimate position, as I am confident it won't disappoint tomorrow.
  20. webbedtoes

    webbedtoes Crusader (491) Nov 1, 2014 Oregon

    A beautifully descriptive review. Thanks!
  21. brentk56

    brentk56 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,831) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I have huge expectations for any barrel-aged beer from Firestone Walker and this does not disappoint. Two aspect of this brew make it the best in the box so far for me. First is the blend of Bourbon and Rye barrels with the best qualities of each of them making a strong impact. The other is the dried dark fruit aspect that I normally associate with a Russian Imperial Stout. The dried plum and raisin tones add complexity to the sweeter elements in the flavor profile.

    Visiting Firestone Walker Barrelworks has been one of the highlights of my beer journey. There are a number of breweries who do a great job with BA Stouts and there are others that are master of BA Wilds. Few achieve the pinnace with both - Firestone Walker is one of them.
  22. MonDak_Joe1953

    MonDak_Joe1953 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,100) Aug 4, 2017 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    The second beer sampled from the box. The higher ABV% is not evident upon sipping but certainly hits for aftermath. Quite a sweet barrel aged stout with a wide range of aromas and flavors - chocolate, cherry, leather, molasses, vanilla, oak, and bourbon barrel. The aroma is also deep and varied. Mouth feel is initially a little thin but gets more full during each sip. This is a real treat to try.
  23. cjgiant

    cjgiant Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,248) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Did a side-by-side of this with Parabola and found it a tad sweeter, but overall better composed with a little more nuance from the barrels. Parabaloid had a little more "barrel umami" that replaced the areas where Parabola was more roasty and bitter. I'm not sure whether the elite barrels themselves created these or if was the extra time in them and it's probably both, but as a burgeoning whiskey enthusiast, I liked Parabaloid a little more.
  24. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Grand Pooh-Bah (4,328) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Im almost complete with my BIG STOUTS box. THis is Firestone Walker Paraboloid. I think I only have one more from the 12 beers to finish. Its been fun consuming these beers, and many of them I couldnt get any other way. So thanks for coordinating this package! Also have been enjoying the reading of others reviews of the same beers as I. Well worth participating in these beer boxes IMO.

    onto my review:

    Sampling a 2022 vintage of this beer poured at cellar temp into my snifter. Part of the Big Stouts box from BA.
    The beer is in a 12 oz stubby bottle and pours a rich cola brown into my glass. A creamy dense beige to tan head of 1 cm foams up and fades to a sturdy edge layer and some wispy surface covering soon after the pour.
    Aroma on this is robust! I get dark chocolate, tobacco, charred wood, roasted malt, molasses and some whiskey. Nose is also black peppery spicy heat. No hint of any hop character.
    First sip reveals a fairly thick body and sticky texture with fine tingly carbonation. Beer does leave a bit of residue on my lips with each sip.
    Flavor is similar to the nose advertisements. I get dark chocolate, roasted notes and some tobacco hits. Moves to a whisky note that lingers long after each swallow. No hint of any hops and I do get a bit of spicy booze with accompanying warmth after each swallow. The warmth isnt really heat nor does it slow down my consumption of this 15% brew. I suspect this will definitely catch up with me by the end of the sampling. Glad to have tried this one as I do enjoy it quite a bit as a straight forward big boozy barrel aged imperial stout.
    Well worth picking up a bottle. No surprises here.
    4.5 in the BA DB
  25. mjwellman

    mjwellman Zealot (621) Jun 14, 2014 Texas

    This was an amazing stout. Smooth and silky. It goes down so easy. It also proves my point that there is a direct relationship between the ABV and how good a stout is. I’ve never had a good tasting stout under 10%. This bottle alone was worth the price of this box of beers
  26. mactrail

    mactrail Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,843) Mar 24, 2009 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    This is by far my favorite so far. Restores my interest in barrel aged stouts. Plus the 12 oz bottle means I can put the cap back on and savor some nips on a few more late evenings.
  27. dbean3

    dbean3 Devotee (351) Mar 21, 2014 Texas

    Looking forward to this one. I'm saving it for last. Should get to it this weekend.
    Luscious_Malfoy likes this.
  28. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Pundit (946) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts

    This one tasted special. A lot of times I have issues with high-abv stouts where I pick up soy sauce flavors or acrid burn from black malts. This somehow hits really hard and dark but doesn't give me any of that. Instead I get nice leathery notes (or tobacco?) Really dark espresso and black licorice too. I enjoyed just sniffing it and going real slow like with a whiskey.

    Resistance88 and Luscious_Malfoy like this.
  29. johlac66

    johlac66 Pundit (956) Jul 19, 2014 California

    Started off the morning and finished the Big Stout box with strong notes of bourbon, oak, and rye on the nose. Taste follows with dark chocolate, fruit, leather, and tobacco. Has a soft woody mouthfeel. Would prefer a more robust oily feel for this style, but I think this is a testament to the Old Fitzgerald and Sazerac aging. Well done with the barrels! Overall a very solid world-class stout.