Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER PARABOLA 2022 + PARABOLOID 2022

Beer Review: FIRESTONE WALKER PARABOLA 2022 + PARABOLOID 2022

In this special review, we delve into the latest vintage of Firestone Walker Parabola alongside its companion small-batch variant, Paraboloid. These releases, each boasting distinct aging processes, promise a departure from the ordinary beer tasting experience. Let’s unravel the layers of flavors and nuances in this unconventional beer pairing.

Firestone Walker 2022 Parabola and Paraboloid

Parabola: Among the revered beers in the Proprietor’s Vintage Series, Parabola consistently stands out as a formidable contender. The 2022 edition, aged exclusively in 12-year-old bourbon barrels, exudes a robust amalgamation of black cherry, dark chocolate, vanilla, and roast coffee. The aging process in older-stock barrels imparts vintage-specific notes, enhancing Parabola’s richness with hints of stone fruit, fudge, and tobacco.

Paraboloid: Introducing Paraboloid, a limited small-batch variant aged in rare older-stock barrels, including 14-year-old Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrels and 18-year-old Sazerac rye whiskey barrels. This variant aims to carve its identity alongside the Parabola release, bringing a unique spirit character with intense notes of amaretto liqueur, cherries, espresso, and earthiness.

Specifications: Both Parabola and Paraboloid are presented in 12 oz bottles, poured into a 12 oz tulip glass. Notably, Parabola 2022 boasts an ABV of 14.1%, while Paraboloid holds a slightly higher ABV at 15.0%.

Appearance:

Both brews exhibit complete opacity when held against bright light. Parabola presents a darker foam shade compared to Paraboloid, albeit with only moderate head retention.

Aroma:

Parabola: Unveiling scents of dark fudge brownie, mocha coffee, vanilla bean, and a hint of licorice. The seamless integration of barrel and base stout is nothing short of impressive. Paraboloid: Boasting an intense spirit character with notes of amaretto liqueur, cherries, espresso, and a touch of earthiness. While the base beer takes a back seat, it subtly supports the dominant spirit character.

Flavor:

Parabola: A dance of high bitterness and bourbon caramel sweetness with undertones of vanilla. As it evolves on the palate, chocolate and pipe tobacco emerge, leaving a lighter body and a dry finish. The complexity of the barrel blend sets this 2022 vintage apart, showcasing Firestone’s evolving brewing prowess. Paraboloid: Emphasizing the spirit’s prominence, Paraboloid delivers abundant cherry, baking spice, and mocha coffee flavors. The heightened spirit presence contributes to a drier finish compared to Parabola. A persistent earthiness aligns with the rye whiskey barrels, enhancing the dark fruit notes in the base stout.

Overall:

With over 15 years of barrel aging expertise, Firestone Walker secures its position among the beer barrel aging elite. The heritage barrels used for Paraboloid underscore a commitment to crafting exceptional beer. In a craft beer landscape that witnessed the Eclipse series by FiftyFifty Brewing, openly declaring barrel brands is a bold move. As craft spirits gain traction among beer enthusiasts, Paraboloid, while residing on the boozier end of Firestone Walker’s barrel portfolio, stands out among Parabola variants. Though Parabajava might hold the crown, Paraboloid earns its place among the top single-year vintages of Parabola, notably the esteemed 2011 release.