Friday, August 26, 2011
Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Parabola
I was never a big fan of Firestone Walker beers until I tried their barleywine, Abacus. It was unlike any beer I had ever tried up to that point and remains the best barleywine I've ever had. Abacus is part of Firestone's Reserve Series, which consists of Abacus, Double Jack (which I wasn't a fan of), Firestone's Anniversary Ales (which I have yet to try), Walker's Reserve Porter (which I was inclined to like because of the name but didn't because of the taste) and a Russian Imperial Stout called Parabola which sits at #25 on the Top 100 list. So out of the five beers of the Reserve Series, I had tried three and liked one. Not a good sign. Still, a lot of people had told me that Parabola was better than Abacus, so I figured it was worth a shot. I opened it alongside a few other great beers at a tasting with Beau and our friend, Krank.
Parabola pours a jet black color with a 1/2 finger tan head. The smell took me straight back to the smell of Abacus with huge notes of chocolate, toasted coconut, oak and port. Beau described the smell pretty accurately as a "dark chocolate Mounds bar." I absolutely love Mounds bars, so this beer obviously gets high marks from me in the smell department.
The taste was everything I could hope for in a stout: rich, deep and complex. I picked up notes of roasted malt, tootsie roll, milk chocolate, dark chocolate covered raisins, leather and mocha with a slight smokiness on the finish. Everything about this beer made me want it to never end. From the complex flavors to the rich and chewy mouthfeel, this beer is definitely Top 100 worthy. One of the better stouts I've had. Now that's what I'm talking about, Firestone! Make more beers like this!
Final Grade: A+
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 27