neuromatt (1225) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 17, 2011
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 (2994) - Crestview, Florida, USA - DEC 15, 2011
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 (276) - Rhode Island, USA - DEC 13, 2011
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 (2743) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 11, 2011
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.
ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 10, 2011
I split a 22oz bomber with a friend. We each poured it into tulip glasses.
biggirlpanties (194) - Oceanside, California, USA - DEC 9, 2011
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.
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 (2854) - SWITZERLAND - DEC 8, 2011
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. poibag808 (14) - Hawaii, USA - DEC 2, 2011
poured from bottle into a snifter.
A: Poured black almost oily with very little head. Some lacing on the glass.
S: sweet with hints of oak and coffee.
T: Initially strong dark fruit/raisin flavors. As the beer warmed up a bit I got dark chocolate, roasted coffee and hints of vanilla. Amazing complexity and drinkability as the beer opened up.
M: The colder it was the more syrupy sweet it stuck in my mouth, almost cloying. As the beer warmed up it become much smoother.
Overall great beer, wish I could get my hands on another bottle.
Serving type: bottle
drpimento (3736) - La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 1, 2011
Let this bottle warm some out of the fridge. Poured with a tan, smallish head and a little lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is mild, malt, roast, wine, yeast, dates, figs. Flavor’s like nose, bittersweet up front, enough carbonic tang to balance. Finish is boozy and the alcohol is striking. killer brew. JoeTheYounger (1183) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - NOV 29, 2011
Dark black pour with a dark tan head. Aroma is tobacco burnt cocoa and milk chocolate. Taste is mild bourbon, espresso beans, earthy charred barrel. Great brew