Stone of fire Walker’s famous Parabola, which is the crown jewel in their Proprietor’s Vintage Series, will be returning for the year 2023. It features an intriguing origin story that is guaranteed to thrill beer consumers as well as bourbon enthusiasts. For the purpose of crafting this year’s release, Firestone turned to Buffalo Trace and obtained barrels from Blanton’s that were eight years old and barrels from Weller that were twelve years old. This is part of a pattern that involves using older bourbon barrels to mature its trademark stout. Now that I think about it, I can practically hear the bourbon hounds letting out exhilarating gasps. And the proprietors of the stores that inflate their prices.
Now, however, that is not all, guys. This year, Parabola is accompanied once more by a small batch spinoff that is referred to as Paraboloid. This paraboloid is only available at the three sites of the brewery as well as online. We were not able to get our hands on the original release of this one the previous year, which was matured in barrels of Old Fitzgerald bourbon that were 14 years old and extremely rare Sazerac rye casks that were 18 years old. As a result of being matured for more than 18 months in Elijah Craig barrels that are 20 years old, the 2023 release is just as unusual as its predecessor.
Although I am hesitant to drink beers that have been matured in barrels from a Glencairn, I believe that both of these require a little bit of fanfare. As well as little portions. Here are some thoughts.
A Parabola for the Firestone Walker
This latest offering from Parabola pours black and thick, with a thin brown head that clings to the inside of the glass. This is consistent with all of the prior incarnations of the product. Dark, toasted malts with hints of black licorice, cinnamon muffins, and cocktail cherry are present in the scent at first. The perfume is initially rather robust and alcoholic. The alcoholic beverages begin to decrease in quantity as soon as the establishment opens, paving the way for the introduction of milk chocolate, desiccated coconut, and milky coffee. The flavour profile is characterised by a creamy texture, a sweetness that is well-balanced, and a faint malty bitterness that helps to keep the sweetness in control. Not only is it fairly chocolaty, but it also has a decadent flavour profile that includes gianduja and Belgian chocolate. In the chewy dark caramel flavours that develop as the beverage heats in the glass, I even detect a trace of the sweetness that is characteristic of wheated bourbon. Additional chocolate sauce, vanilla bean, and a touch of cold coffee that is somewhat sour are all present in the finish, which is smooth and lengthy. In terms of flavour, it is not quite as complex or strong as the 2022 release, but it is superbly balanced and really delightful nonetheless. The abv is 13.5%.
Firestone Walker Paraboloid paraboloid
There is a significant variation from the original in the form of the paraboloid. Furthermore, it leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass, in addition to pouring the same dark, motor oil-like colour with a head that is a light coffee colour. However, it is pretty much where it comes to an end. At first tasting, the aroma is nearly fruity, with overtones of currants and black cherry. The aroma is heavy with unusual high-cacao dark chocolate that has a strong aroma presence. The oak also shows with a greater intensity, which is not surprising considering the age of the cask. It offers a character that is extraordinarily dry, with hints of smoke and char that are not immediately noticeable. A little of split vanilla bean, dark roast coffee, and walnut are dispersed throughout the beer, and on the taste, dark malts and thick, sticky chocolate fudge are the flavours that carry the day. There is more of the traditional black stout taste that comes through in this beer, despite the fact that it is a large and exuberant drink. However, it is not as creamy or even as boozy on the mouth as does the ordinary release. There are hints of chicory, chocolate, and black licorice that fade away as the end presents malts that are only slightly bitter. An outstanding stout that deviates somewhat from the Parabola style and will be well worth your time to investigate if you are fortunate enough to obtain a bottle. 13% abv.