Paso Robles, CA: Fine wine meets a Firestone Walker legend with the inaugural release of Napa Parabola, a Russian imperial stout matured in French oak wine barrels from one of Napa Valley’s most prestigious cult wineries.
“Being an avid wine drinker, I always thought that Parabola would lend itself well to red wine barrels,” said Eric Ponce, Firestone Walker’s barrel program manager. “It was something that was always in the back of my mind, so when these rare wine barrels became available, I jumped at the opportunity. The winery didn’t want to be named—all I can say is that these barrels held some of the finest wines you’ll find in Napa Valley.”
The result is a singular beer that marries the French oak qualities of premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot barrels with Parabola’s own signature notes of dark fruit, tobacco and chewy roasted malts. The oak contributes a satiny texture with notes of spice and toasted coconut, while the residual wine character layers in flavors of cedar, clove, mocha, ripe berry and dried chili pepper.
Napa Parabola is rolling out to all Firestone Walker markets starting this week. It comes on the heels of the 2019 vintage release of the regular bourbon barrel-aged Parabola last month.
Parabola is Firestone Walker’s most notorious bourbon barrel-aged beer, with a lineage that dates back to 2006. With a rich, roasty intensity that can stand up to a variety of complementary flavors, Parabola lends itself to variant iterations. Earlier small-batch variants have included Coconut Rye Parabola and Parabajava—but Napa Parabola is the first variant to reach all Firestone Walker markets as a limited vintage release.
“While boozy bourbon notes are predominant in our regular Parabola, Napa Parabola offers an entirely different dimension of French oak character, and the wine spices and berry flavors marry perfectly with the beer’s roasted malts and chocolaty aromatics,” Ponce said.