Firestone Walker 2018 ‘Parabola’ BA Imperial Stout


35043496_868797883304358_20831175501152256_n“Parabola is a beer of darkness and immensity, a barrel-­aged beast that is routinely ranked as one of the top beers in the world.  This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in  Heaven Hill barrels, developing flavors of rich, chewy roasted malts, charred oak and bourbony vanilla. Parabola bares its teeth with its impenetrable black hue and soaring alcohol, yet its bite remains refined with a silky, balanced finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Virtually impenetrable black with a short tan head which gradually recedes to a collar. We’re seeing some decent lace sticking to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Big impressions of the bourbon barrels coming through. Tonnes of warming booze, molasses, sticky syrup, toffee fudge, dark chocolate, leather, licorice and charred wood make up the bulk of it. There’s a complex spice flowing through too, it’s got a hint of creamy vanilla with a flutter of earthy nutmeg and tobacco. Some nutty malts as well. Wow she’s intricate and really well layered.

Flavour: Oh my goodness! Plenty of bourbon character initially but nicely countered by the sticky caramels/toffee, dark chocolate, mild coffee and vanilla cream accents. Picking up some faint oak flavours along with a belly warming booze (12.7% ABV). Sweet dark fruits, treacle and earthy spice finish it off with raw tobacco and charred wood on a length.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, warming and oily. Somewhat leaner than expected. Low co2 and does well to hide that enormous ABV.

Overall: Simply brilliant. It has that KBS quality with an extra earthy complexity added. We can’t wait to see how a few years will improve it. Magnificent!