Earlier this month Firestone Walker Brewing Co. announced the release of Parabola, their barrel-aged Russian imperial oatmeal stout. It's part of the brewery’s Proprietor’s Reserve Series, which consists of bottled draft-only barrel-aged beers.
Reports say the 22-ounce bottles will retail for about $16, which is in line with Firestone Walker's other special releases and anniversary ales. This stuff should not be on the shelves for too long – their Buellton taproom reportedly sold out in 20 minutes.
Parabola, listed as 13 percent alcohol by volume, has earned an A-average from reviewers at the Beeradvocate website. One review, out of a total of 47, describes Parabola in the following way:
The nose is a stellar blend of roasted malt, molasses, and caramel. A light roast of coffee is well integrated and a low level of oak is present. Vanilla wafts from the glass, and the chocolate is a slightly bittersweet blend of milk and dark. Balance is superb and alcohol is mild. I'm enthralled by the caramel transcending the molasses, coffee, and chocolate.
The taste is excellent, nearly as good as the nose. I detect caramel, chocolate, and a slight roasted character. Sweetness is at a moderate level with a touch brown sugar. I also notice molasses, a dash of licorice, and some vanilla. The finish is semisweet with more of the prodigious caramel character, some roasted malt, and a touch of coffee.
The brewery announced it is only releasing 1,000 cases of Parabola. In the past, one could expect to find this stuff on eBay marked up obscenely. No word yet if bottles have made it to Southland retail establishments.
Luckily for Angelenos, and for those unwilling to splurge blindly on a bottle, The Surly Goat in West Hollywood will be pouring it from tap on Tuesday, along with a cask of unfiltered Double Barrel ale and other Firestone treats. First round on me!