Guerde (1210) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 2, 2012
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
(bottle from Sparky, thanks Eric!) Pours black with some reddish highlights when held up to the light and a medium dark tan head that fades with time. Aroma regrettably holds a slight amount of the dreaded green bell pepper, but the substantial amount of chocolate, roasted malt, barrel char, vanilla, and coconut do well to counter it, and further warming almost eradicates it. The flavor is superbly integrated, with the barrel aging pairing seamlessly with the base beer. Flavors of chocolate Jell-o pudding, peanut butter, coconut, vanilla, and some dark roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick with a full body, and the finish lingers with some roasted malt. Overall this is an excellent example of barrel aging done right. Thanks again Eric!
CamdenD (1113) - Madrid, SPAIN - DEC 24, 2011
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Beautiful aroma and deep black. Sampled on tap at the northampton brewery (guest tap). Strong booze in the nose, a bit sweet on the tongue, but still balanced. This is a sipper and not over-hopped, nice, nice imp-stout.
jsh12bama (681) - Alabama, USA - DEC 21, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sample at GABF 2011. Pours black with thin tan head. Aroma of bourbon. Thinner than I would have expected. Awesome flavor of bourbon.
neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 17, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2011 vintage. 22 oz bottle from Beverages 4 Less in Santee CA, served in a snifter. Pours deep black with a small light brown head. The head fades quckly, leaving a thin remnant and a small amount of fine lace. On the nose, there are big notes of molasses, roasted malts, coffee, oak and bourbon, along with accents of tobacco, earth, chocolate and a touch of sherry. The flavour is both huge and complex. It begins moderately sweet up front but becomes increasingly bitter and increasingly peppery as it progresses. There are rich notes of molasses, oak and chocolate, along with tobacco and warming alcohol. The finish is long and malty with notes of bourbon, oak and hops. On the palate, it is full in body with a syrupy texture and average carbonation. Overall, this is an exceptional imperial stout. It has an enormous flavour and aroma that is also suitably complex with prominent notes of bourbon, oak, molasses and tobacco. At 12.5% abv, it is also a strong example and the alcohol is evident throughout. I found this young example to be a little harsh; I suspect it would improve with aging. 2011-12-17
suprchunk (2528) - Crestview, Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2011
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Black pour. Big tan, foamy, creamy head. Slowly falls leaving a bit of lacing behind. Creamy aroma of roasted grains, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. A slight, slight bit of alcohol in the nose, but is covered nicely by the awesome aroma. Cereal, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, coffee and alcohol in the mouth. A slight heat in the mouth, but overall a creamy mouthfeel. A slight bitterness lingers mixing with a sweet velvety coating. Very good.
RyanK (245) - Rhode Island, USA - DEC 13, 2011
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Even upon opening smells of strong, dark fruits like cherry and raisins. Pours a dark black with a tan foam lacing on the top. This is kind of harsh, more like a desert beer. Taste strongly of cherries, chocolate, yeast, a lot of complexity, very deep flavor. To me this is more like a syrup than beer, very thick and far too sweet. Probably designed as a desert beer to pair with food like cheesecake. This is too much finishes very boozy almost makes me scrunch my face. I can think of a better way to spend $15
MadIndian (2571) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 11, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Great beer! Beautiful thick black pour with a brown frothy head. Sweet aromas of vanilla, chocolate, nuts and coffee. The flavors match the aroma with the exception of a whiskey barrel finish.
Chad9976 (1358) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2011
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I split a 22oz bomber with a friend. We each poured it into tulip glasses.
Appearance: Midnight black color, completely opaque with no carbonation visible. Forms a good-sized brown, frothy head which laces and retains very well for such a big beer.
Smell: Potent nose of whiskey, sour grape, black licorice and roasted malt. Sweet, oaky, vanilla qualities with a hint of smokiness. Extremely inviting.
Taste: Barrel-aged imperial stouts are all the rage these days, and for good reason: they’re delicious! Usually, these beers are aged in just one barrel for a year or more, but Firestone Walker Parabola is aged in multiple barrels, including spirits, wines, and previous beers. This creates for a very unique and equally complex palate. Of course, the base brew itself has a lot to do with it and you can tell they went out all on making an imperial stout of the highest quality.
Parabola hits the tongue with a massive amount of pure taste. Red grape, black licorice and toffee and caramel syrups are the most prominent flavors up front. It’s sweet and rich, but in that authentic, all-natural way - nothing candy-like or artificial in the least. The second half transitions to more traditional stout qualities with deeply roasted malt and a strong bitterness to balance out the palate. On the finish comes a rush of wood, vanilla and more whiskey. The aftertaste, however, is remarkable clean. Not lingering bitterness, no cloying or sticky sweetness, either. Interestingly enough, there’s little to no chocolate or coffee flavors in this palate, and instead more vinous and licorice qualities. That’s probably the only thing keeping me from considering it the best beer ever, but my friend Jay seemed to prefer it the other way around.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied for sure, with a thick, soft, comfortable texture. Noticeable warmth and whiskey sweetness across the tongue and a warming affect in the throat. But no sticky, cloying aftertaste.
Drinkability: This beer is pretty big at 12.5% ABV, but I’ve had smaller beers that felt and drank much more potent than Firestone Walker Parabola. The palate is amazing in that it’s so robust and yet not intimidating at all. It’s amazingly smooth, with a gentle presence of alcohol. A fantastic dessert beer, or something for a special occasion. Drinking an entire bottle alone would be challenging, though.
biggirlpanties (194) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 9, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thick tan head. Great lacing. Aroma is S’Mores sprinkled with cinnamon: y chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker. Makes me miss my childhood. Taste is much of the same but with some silky dark chocolate in there. Mouthfeel is fluffy and rich. Not at all sticky. One of my favorites.
Embrouille (2831) - SWITZERLAND - DEC 8, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2011 Bottled 65cl. It pours a very dark beer with a small bubbly beige head. The aroma is reminiscent of Hershey’s kisses, niaouli honey, oak, raisin, vanilla, plum and cherry. A lot of chocolate powder, plum and vanilla in the taste. Good bitterness. Full bodied. Warming on the swallow. Remarkably smooth. Great malt profile. Complex. Decent lacework. The hops practically only contribute to bitterness. Dry minty finish with lingering vanilla. Complex and delicious but far from being fantastic in my opinion.