I recently officially reviewed my 2000th beer. This list is a bit skewed, as I didn’t “officially” begin reviewing until after living in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and Anchorage, AK. Seriously, all those “meccas” of craft beer, and I waited until moving to Ridgecrest, CA to begin officially logging my craft beer adventures. What a dumbass. Most people have these great, deep, philosophical answers to “What would you change if you could go back in time?” and my answer is to create a Beeradvocate.com account before moving to Portland. Oh well, on to the fantastic number 2k!
I made sure to make it a worthwhile brew, sitting on this wonderful beer for a while after moving from New Hampshire. Now, I bring to you, Firestone Walker Parabola, vintage 2013.
The beer is jet black, with a light halo of off-white head. Pours very thick and smooth. Aromas are spilling out of this snifter from a good distance; this is a beast. Very rich molasses, vanilla, bourbon, woody notes, chocolate, and toffee notes provide huge layers on your sense of smell. Throughout the layers, you pick up hints of licorice, cream, cherry, tobacco, smoke and char. This smells great. Flavors are very rich, with a blast of char, bitter and roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses, and heavy booze notes. This is a blast on your palate. The more you drink, more flavor profiles reveal themselves, including tobacco, peat, earthy notes, and smoke. This is heavy. The body is robust, smooth, and full, like old motor oil, which is the perfect body to support this cavalcade of flavors. Rich, thickly sweet aftertaste of coffee, chocolate, and molasses, this remains heavy from start to finish. The finish is thick, smooth, and lingering. This beer keeps you on the ropes from the moment you open the bottle, and I personally loved every second of it. This beer is an annual release…FIND IT! Once in your possession, feel free to delve into the rapture that is this brew immediately, or, for those of stronger ilk, cellar it, because I can only imagine this beast grows more smooth and lethal as it ages!
Milestones are fun, as long as you can make them fun. It’s all about perspective. Big beers like this, which some people refer to as “whales”, are actually fairly attainable, in comparison to other limited releases that require traveling to a specific brewery, going to a festival, etc. That being said, it doesn’t always have to be rare to be a good beer, but sometimes, especially in this case, a rare beer is the absolute tits it’s been built up to be. Regardless, the best beer out there is the one in your hands. With that said, remember to drink educated, my friends!