Tuesday, 13 September 2011
I've heard some pretty amazing things about this beer, let's look at the stats:
Firestone Parabola - a 12.5% Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels.
This 2011, No. 002 Reserve Series is aged patiently for 12 months in the barrel before the 3000 cases are packaged. An OG of 29.5 (plato), 82 IBUs, British Ale (house) yeast used and a 167SRM colour rating, (if anyone knows what this colour rating system is I'll be impressed, but apparently 167 is Midnight Black)
Tar, varnish, tobacco, dark rum, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, liquorice, oats soaked in whisky and a bucket load of dried fruits. Quite possibly the most complex aroma I've ever smelled to an Imperial Stout, minus, maybe only a couple.
I've only ever had one beer before from Firestone, which was a lone bottle of the Firestone Walker Pale Ale many moons ago, which I thought was OK, but nothing extra special.
This however, is one of the best beers I've ever drunk from the USA!
It's so thick it's like treacle. You get an immediate sweet oaky bourbon flavour that fills the mouth and dominates the senses. This is certainly a sipper, although the 12.5% is rather masked with lots of rich chocolate and dark malt flavours. Woody with big vanilla essence comes through in the finish. It's strange, for all the flavours I stated in the aroma, this beer is ridiculously balanced, and even the most experienced taster would probably find it hard to get much more from the flavour. That's not me trying to boast about my tasting skillz, that's me stating how amazingly complex but perfectly balanced this beer is, that it really leaves you lost for words.
I thought I'd pair this with some food.....
I know, it's not really my territory, I should leave it to Leigh and Neil, but I thought I'd give it a bash.
My immediate thoughts were drawn to what to pair this beer with. I thought rich meats maybe? Some blue cheeses or maybe even some fine chocolates or the richest of deserts? Any of those would have done the trick I thought.
But then the inner YorkshireMan inside my belly started punching my stomach.
He said to me "Any self-respecting YorkshireMan like yourself knows the ultimate food to go with beer!"
And he was right, I did know the ultimate food for beer, the ultimate food to go with ANY beer. And I'll believe him to the bitter end, I'll eat this with Imperial Stout, with IPAs, with Lambics, with Wheat beers etc....
You know it, you love it, you can't live without it!:
AWWWWW YEEEAAAAHHHH!!! :)