It’s Parabola time once again, as our famed stout is back with a new vintage that was aged in a rare blend of spirits barrels from Blanton’s and W.L. Weller.
There’s more: the 2023 Parabola release also includes the next edition of the small-batch spinoff called Paraboloid, which was aged for a 18 months in 20-year-old Elijah Craig barrels.
Parabola is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets in limited 12-ounce bottle and draft formats. Meanwhile, 12-ounce bottles of Paraboloid are available for a limited time at our three locations and online store.
Parabola is always a beast of a beer, with intense flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, vanilla, and roast coffee – yet each annual release also bears its own subtle imprint, gained from aging in a unique mix of barrels from one year to the next.
True to form, the 2023 edition was aged for a year in an equal combination of eight-year-old Blanton’s bourbon and 12-year-old W.L. Weller wheated whiskey barrels. The wheated whiskey barrels accentuated Parabola’s signature richness with fine notes of cereal grain, while the bourbon barrels imparted their classic notes of toasted coconut and cocoa nibs.
“These barrels are pretty rare, and we’ve never used them to this extent in Parabola,” said Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Blanton’s, and I’m a more recent fan of Weller, and together they add a flavorful new twist on the story of Parabola.”
The origins of Parabola date back to 2005, when it was created as a component for our first barrel-aged Anniversary Ale, which was called Ten. When this inaugural Anniversary Ale was released the following year, it became an immediate sensation and helped spark the coming surge in barrel-aged craft beers.
Along the way, Parabola gained a cult reputation of its own, finally meriting its own standalone release in 2010. Ever since, Parabola has returned each spring as a small-batch Firestone Walker staple. Today, Parabola maintains a perfect 100-point rating on Beer Advocate.
Parabola also achieves new heights in the limited small-batch spinoff known as Paraboloid.
The story of this beer began when we aged it in a special selection of premium 20-year-old Elijah Craig bourbon barrels. These barrels complemented Parabola’s flavors with mellow hints of oak, fudge, and chocolate brownie.
“The rarity of these barrels speaks for itself,” Matt said. “They’re as old as the Parabola recipe itself. We’ve used Elijah Craig barrels in our barrel-aging program for a long time. Their barrels are super consistent, and I’m a massive fan of their bourbons – but I’d never seen a 20-year-old Elijah Craig until now.”
Additionally, the beer was aged for a full 18 months prior to blending and bottling, cultivating an ultra-smooth mouthfeel for this prodigiously flavorful stout.