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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ParabolaParabola

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,387 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,387
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 2,700
Gots: 3,090 | FT: 235
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008

Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged for 8 months in circa 1990's Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

2011
OG: 29.5p [plato]
IBU: 82 [high]
Cases: 3000 produced [LTD]
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel]
Yeast: British Ale [house]
Color: 167SRM [midnight black]
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,387 | Reviews: 1,076
Photo of Hanna56
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness in a bottle, sweet chocolate bourbon stout deliciousness

Photo of BradfordStuckey
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An incredible beer. Very limited. Got lucky to purchase a bottle at bevmo this year(never put on shelves, sold right at the cash register only). Great scents of chocolate and toffee from the BA. Very sweet at first but decadent bourbon flavors ease you into a welcoming boosiness. The bitterness is masked by the incredible scent and outstanding barrel aged flavors. Had the pleasure of trying it on tap at barrelworks in buelton as well. One of my favorite beers.

Photo of DM1293
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night, with the essence of dark fruit on the nose. Taste is dark chocolate, with those notes of dark fruits playing off caramel sweetness. Creamy without being too rich, very low carbonation, and the alcohol taste is kept in check.

A deep yet approachable stout.

Photo of Joey2timer
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Needs to sit in the cellar for a year for it to really shine.

Photo of Desp59
3.19/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pretty smooth. It was 2015 so it might be better with a little age.

Photo of Moose90
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage No. 006
22oz Bomber served into 16oz tulip

A – Pours a deep and rich brown, opaque, head is coffee cream colored and thin, leaves behind sticky, spotty lacing, and thick legs coat the inside of the class, quite thick.

S – Warm oak, buttered toffee, coffee, licorice, creamy caramel, rich bourbon, cinnamon, rich mocha, chocolate roasted malts.

T – Deep layers of flavor, bourbon dominant, rich and spicy bourbon notes, cinnamon, spicy, leads way to rich and decadent notes of chocolate, cocoa nibs, coffee, espresso, caramel, vanilla bean, licorice, anise, spice, warming, wonderfully rich.

M – Thick, rich, and sweet, coats the inside of the mouth and has a long and lingering finish that warms you to your core, very enjoyable and decadent.

O – Excellent beer, very nice balanced notes of coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, just amazing, this absolutely lives up to its "hype" grab it if you can.

Photo of everyman
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I opened the '15 - just couldn't wait. Hard pour yields some head. However, it's surprising how much carbonation there is. Certainly the beer doesn't have much bite in the sense of carbonation, but with any movement at all thousands of tiny bubbles rise upwards in the murky black liquid. This is a beer with the true black and tan appearance. At first, I had a difficult time depicting the smell, then my wife walked into the room and said, "is that rotten fruit?" Haha! To her defense, the dark fruit comes through far more than any other aroma. And in smell and flavor, The alcohol heat comes through far less than I anticipated, which was instead nice and balanced. Flavor wise, any newcomers to the series should know that these beers are thick and rich with flavor. Parabola is far from being a routine stout. I equivocate its richness to a very dense chocolate cake. The intensity of five or more flavors is difficult to pick apart, yet each taste reminds me that this is definitely a stout, a very dark, dessert-like one. While there's a little sweetness and syrupyness to this beer, the roastiness aligns with all aspects of its flavoring. It's really one-of-a-kind.

Photo of Jaxbrew
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage consumed in 2014. I have to be critical based on the 100 rating, but I thought this was missing something. Maybe it wasn't as sweet as I'd hoped? It definitely had the cacao, coffee, barrel, and licorice to it though.

Photo of lemmy187
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A little thinner than expected.....but a world class stout none the less. Nose is full of bourbon, chocolate, and oak. Taste follows the nose closely and finishes on the sweet side.

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 from a bottle.

Pours moderately thick. Very flavorful with just enough carbonation and balance to make this near perfect. Couldn't find many flaws to criticize. Get some.

Photo of arvidkoval
4.14/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smell is straight bourbon. After the initial bourbon blast, some toffee, espresso, chocolate, some oak flavors. On the sweeter side. Good full body. Tasty shit.

Photo of jageraholic
4.84/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: black, almost oil slick, ten head.
S: amazingly complex. Vanilla, oak, marshmallow, cherries, coffee, bourbon. In unison. Perfect
T:amazeballs. Everything in the aroma comes through in waves. Sweet finish.
M: thick, like milk. Perfect
O: outstanding, just wish the finish was a bit less sweet but perfect sipper by a fire.

Photo of jlsims04
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Who ever said this does not celler well is a crazy person. A little thin but very tasty. Really enjoyed this one.

Photo of Kraty1
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh man... Don't know/can't remember if I've had it before but wow!

Photo of Kuaff
4.86/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

In my snifter at cellar temperature. I'm excited!

Midnight black, as the label describes it, is accurate. A fleeting sheet of rich-looking dark mocha froth.

That's quite an aroma. VERY forward with dessert-like caramel, butterscotch, and maple. It also has vanilla, oak, toasted pecans, bourbon, leather, earth, and yeasty dark bread dough. It even brings the dark fruits like raisins and plums! Add to all this the most lusciously rich, enticing of dark chocolate scents , and it makes for a superbly sniffable stout.

Oh my dear. That first sip just took me on quite a ride. EVERYTHING I just described above comes through in the flavor, if not more. And it's incredibly well-integrated and smooth. Intense bourbon, leathury oak, vanilla, dark fruits, and chocolate barrage the palate, yet nothing feels over-done. The finish leaves me feeling not cloying sweetness, but rather a dry, almost woody, earthen grainy sensation. Powerful, yet balanced.

The feel is sticky and wonderfully viscous.

Words cannot do this stout justice.

Photo of osant37
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Simply put the best bourbon barrel aged imperial stout I have ever had. Just slightly above bcbs.

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The hype is for real on this one.... Absoluely incredible in all facets.

Photo of tony2beers
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage poured from bottle into snifter

Poured a deep black color and immediately smelled chocolate and vanilla up front with a more bourbon as it warmed.

Very thick mouthfeel, and taste of chocolate and bourbon.

Photo of aleigator
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Parabola '12 vintage

Many thanks to Kevin for the bottle.

Pours a black color, with a decent, bubbly head.

Aromas reveal a rich Bourbon note among chocolate, coffee and wood. The Bourbon is very well pronounced, hovering on top of sweet, toffeeish malts, bakers chocolate and molasses, well balanced between sweet, earthy and bitter aromas. Toffee and hot Bourbon blend outstandingly well into each other, with coffee playing a balancing role, bittering the nose.

Drinks incredibly smooth, revealing the rich, decadent body of the beer, with almost no carbonation necessary to showcase its complexity.

While the Bourbon is very prominent on the nose, it is well integrated into the beers taste, due to earthy malts, wood and creamy milk chocolate, balancing the bourbonic impact. It tastes quite hot though, with coffee blending into the oak incredibly well, exhibiting a slightly dry quality, absorbed by sweeter chocolate with lots of cream. The bitternes turns quite prominent, due to the wooden, hot bite, inviting matured hops and coffee to the tongue. Until the very end, coffee and chocolate are on par, leading to a semi-dry, slightly burning finish.

Fantastic brew, outstandingly balanced, while providing an amazing depth. Wooden coffee and creamy milk chocolate are balancing the Bourbon artfully, both staying recognizable until the finish, while their taste gets gently transformed due to luscious, slightly dry, warming Bourbon and notes of coconut, as well as vanilla.

Photo of BuccoFan
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22 oz bottle into snifter. 2015 bottle. Didn't find it much different than BCBS, which is to say I found it exceptional. Totally robust feel with nice bourbony taste. Worth every effort to get hold of, if you can.

Photo of raynmoon
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 bottle

Looks a little strange actually. Doesn't pour as black as some other stouts out there, but that is how parabola has always been. The strange thing is how large the bubbles are on the foam. No head to speak of. But to be expected.

The smell is glorious however. You get that classic firestone barrel character shining immediately. I get a big amount of brown sugar sweetness, toasted coconut.

Wooh, this is a big boy. Boozy heat comes in the back end of the sip, starts to tingle and burn the tongue a little. But the first taste is a soft, warm wave of dark chocolate and coconut. It has quite a bit of vanilla and barrel coming through while also maintaining tons of balance.

Mouthfeel is superb, very velvety, low carbonation.

This vintage of parabola is coming off a little hot, which it don't quite remember any of their barrel beers being, but this is a super fresh bottle of a 14% abv beer! should be expected.

Photo of blues_fever
4.98/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Having had Parabola 3 years in a row, it can do no wrong. Well worth obtaining or trading for.

Photo of Straycorn
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just consumed a 2015. Started out chilled; as it warmed it got so much better. Loved it; glad that I have 3 more that I'm aging!

Photo of Mattygross44
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing Amazing Amazing Amazing Amazing!!! Enough said!!!

Photo of nedvalton
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smooth pleasant taste and feel. Nice aroma with minimal head.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,387 ratings.