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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ParabolaParabola

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,462 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,462
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,145
Gots: 2,529 | FT: 174
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:
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]

(Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,462 | Reviews: 980 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Beerandboards:
Photo of Beerandboards
Beerandboards

New Mexico

4.71/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured from a bomber into a large wine glass. 2012 vintage, reviewed fresh.

A - black, almost pitch, but when tilted and held to the light, a dark brown sugar color comes out on the edge. Very little carbonation, even an aggressive pour straight into the middle produces very little head. I wish there were a teeny bit more head, but almost no complaint here.

S - absolute 5 here. Top notch. Vanilla, bourbon, some very rich roasted malt, slight oak. Can't quit huffing this throughout the life of the pour. Really smells great.

T - also really really great here too. Vanilla, toasty malt, bourbon, rich deep flavors and I can't do a great job of describing. There are some hops that come in at the end and really assert some bitterness at the end. My only (tiny) complaint is that the hops may be just ever so slightly too bitter. As he beer warms, I find the hop bitterness less and less off putting, but I still have to say I'm glad I have another to cellar for a year or so to see if the hops quiet down.

M - again, no fault here. Where I complained a bit about no head, I have to give the beer props for perfect low carbonation. Rich, thick mouthfeel.

O - Very close to 5s all around, but not quite. This is about as close to perfect as I can think of though, really excellent.

12-28-2012 05:50:44 | More by Beerandboards
More User Reviews:
Photo of aszatk01
aszatk01

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +3%

11-29-2013 20:44:29 | More by aszatk01
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-01-2013 03:51:17 | More by DanGeo
Photo of Smokesnotes
Smokesnotes

Michigan

4.81/5  rDev +4.3%

Excellent beer.

A: Very dark brown, not much head.

S: Good bourbon/vanilla aroma.

M: Great mouthfeel. Pretty smooth finish.

T: Lots of caramel flavor.

O: I want more.

Drank at a bottle share alongside Black Xantas and KBS. Parabola definitely holds up next to these beers even though I think KBS edges it out slightly. I enjoyed the info on the label and was surprised how high the IBUs are for not seeming too hoppy. Definitely recommend if you like BA stouts or Imperial Stouts.

07-14-2014 02:32:52 | More by Smokesnotes
Photo of steenkampa
steenkampa

California

5/5  rDev +8.5%

Amazingly balanced hefty stout, at a great price.

The first time I had this one, 2011, I walked into a BevMo to buy two beers for myself to drink during a house party...and got 2 bottles of this, thinking "meh, cheap burly Stout, that'll do great for the night" not knowing at all what I had.

Half way through the night, I'm completely trashed off both bottles wondering what this was and why it tasted so amazing, and when did Firestone get so good when I only remember the DBA being boring before!? This really turned me onto them, and I keep an eye out for any in the Reserve Series (Abacus/Sucaba is great, too).

Anyway. Now I always buy the max, and I have at least 2-3 of each vintage since then in my cellar.

Dark, rich, not much carbonation, chocolate and bourbon notes, lots of roasted malts...just about everything I want in a stout.

Can't wait for the 2014 release, so I can keep the cycle going.

08-08-2013 21:40:22 | More by steenkampa
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev -0.2%

Thanks to the numerous BA's who sent me some bottles of this; I've put it off for way too long. It pours an extremely dark brown color that might as well be called jet-black as it sits, motionless in the glass. A light-mocha colored head plumes up and shows excellent retention; it lasts for days and leaves nice lace spots behind as it slowly recedes down the glass.

The aroma is magnificent; lots and lots of bourbon that's mellowed out by a deep onset of wood and oak. Plentiful amounts of chocolate graze the top of the booze; sweet, creamy and delicate, like a molten mocha cake. Mild hints of vanilla ride over the top of everything, most likely an induction of the barrel itself.

A nice, underlying blanket of roasted malts gives a solid base upon which everything else seems to stand, although the bourbon is strong enough that it may not even need a "base". Parabola has a very large aroma; its potency outright is surely something to behold, and if nothing else, it tells you that this is gonna be one hell of a beer.

Wow. One sip in, and color me impressed. Incredibly smooth, silky, and soft on the palate with just a light tingle of carbonation as the bourbon-heavy brew slips across my palate. The "first and foremost" flavor would be the monumental heaps of chocolate that assault my palate. Deep, dense, dark, bittersweet, and creamy fudge-y chocolate cascades over my senses, clashing with smaller pips of vanilla to create an almost dessert-like delicacy with each sip.

Make no mistake about it, though, the bourbon and oak are as heavy as can be. Soft, warming bourbon entrances every sip just as well, showing the huge robustness of the brew and sending a permanent warmth from the back of your tongue to your belly. Not "hot", but pretty warm, while still remaining smooth thanks to the blunting efforts of the creamy chocolate and the oatmeal.

The aftertaste also contains a bit of bourbon and lots of oak; almost enough oak to call the finish "dry", but falling just shy of this mark. The malts open up a bit more with time, adding more complex notes of burnt caramel and maybe even a touch of sweet maple syrup in the finish. The dominant chocolate and bourbon notes still reign supreme, making this beer like an "adults only" dessert that would be fit for a king.

Well, it's taken me long enough to finally try Parabola, and now that I have, I'll be sure to nab up as much as possible each year that it comes out. Being from Southeast Michigan, some might say we're spoiled with "big" stouts; BCBS, KBS, Black Note, etc... But I'd put Parabola RIGHT up with those brews, and possibly even ahead of a few. So what the hell are you complaining about West Coasters?? This stuff is amazing.

07-01-2013 03:01:22 | More by tectactoe
Photo of DavyJones
DavyJones

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

06-02-2012 03:32:29 | More by DavyJones
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OhioBobcat

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +3%

12-31-2013 00:58:32 | More by OhioBobcat
Photo of jono0101
jono0101

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +3%

11-27-2013 19:34:22 | More by jono0101
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brownbeer

Missouri

5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-14-2014 01:36:08 | More by brownbeer
Photo of abeerdude
abeerdude

California

5/5  rDev +8.5%

06-22-2012 17:29:21 | More by abeerdude
Photo of Schlais
Schlais

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

06-12-2013 01:08:05 | More by Schlais
Photo of Spaten454
Spaten454

Louisiana

5/5  rDev +8.5%

06-14-2014 05:56:24 | More by Spaten454
Photo of Dabeel
Dabeel

California

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

06-05-2013 19:46:52 | More by Dabeel
Photo of poibag808
poibag808

Hawaii

4.63/5  rDev +0.4%

poured from bottle into a snifter.

A: Poured black almost oily with very little head. Some lacing on the glass.
S: sweet with hints of oak and coffee.
T: Initially strong dark fruit/raisin flavors. As the beer warmed up a bit I got dark chocolate, roasted coffee and hints of vanilla. Amazing complexity and drinkability as the beer opened up.

M: The colder it was the more syrupy sweet it stuck in my mouth, almost cloying. As the beer warmed up it become much smoother.

Overall great beer, wish I could get my hands on another bottle.

11-27-2011 08:04:42 | More by poibag808
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SanFranJake

California

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-21-2013 20:46:18 | More by SanFranJake
Photo of delaced21
delaced21

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +3%

03-03-2014 20:30:14 | More by delaced21
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

5/5  rDev +8.5%

A - Dark as night, absolutely viscous appearance. Very minimal head with strong lacing on the glass.

S - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, coffee, oak. You can barely smell the alcohol.

T - Sweet roasted malts and chocolate up front. On the back coffee, toffee, caramel, and vanilla. You can barely taste the bourbon.

M - Very good smooth feel. A lot softer then I would have guessed. Just like velvet.

O - Wow, that was the first word that came to mind after the first sip. This beer is as close as excellence can get in my opinion. By far the best beer for me this year and definitely in my top 5 all-time. Thank god I have one more bottle aging!

07-25-2011 20:15:55 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of RebeccaMB
RebeccaMB

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +3%

05-19-2014 21:16:42 | More by RebeccaMB
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BubalooBrewMaster

Nevada

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

04-06-2014 03:47:28 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of bdkucharski
bdkucharski

Michigan

5/5  rDev +8.5%

02-18-2012 17:00:16 | More by bdkucharski
Photo of Ben7773
Ben7773

Texas

5/5  rDev +8.5%

01-01-2014 22:00:49 | More by Ben7773
Photo of newk340
newk340

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

A: a dark mocha pour, very little visible carbonation and an thin tan head.

S: certainly hints of chocolate and vanilla at first with some lingering notes of caramel, malts, and bourbon to round out an absolutely delicious smelling beer.

T: YUM. similar to the smell there was an immediate blast of chocolate and bourbon while undertones of vanilla and toffee took some time to develop.

MF/D: definitely could've drunk the bottle by myself if it were my own (and it wasn't 13%). went down fairly smooth, though some lingering IBU's tickled my tongue. could feel the ABV at the end of my 8oz pour.

03-01-2011 15:31:54 | More by newk340
Photo of bulldogg915
bulldogg915

Wyoming

4.75/5  rDev +3%

04-03-2013 16:04:19 | More by bulldogg915
Photo of gregmoscetti
gregmoscetti

California

4.4/5  rDev -4.6%

Firestone parabola is nothing new... but lord is it good. I think that this beer is a textbook example of the Barrel Aged RIS style. Its not too sweet, not to hot (though it could use 9-12 months), and incredibly balanced. this beer will mature to really be a heavy hitter. Can't wait

05-30-2010 16:49:01 | More by gregmoscetti
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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,462 ratings.