1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,356
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,094
Gots: 2,478 | FT: 166
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.

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)
View: Beers (73) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 4,356 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR


4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was sitting at Backcountry Pizza in Boulder when I saw the bartender pull out a bottle for the guy three or four seats away from me. After he took a few sips I asked him if it lived up to all the hype and his response was "Absolutely." The bottle was also pretty reasonably priced at $18, so I dove in ordered a bomber for myself. I was not disappointed.

APPEARANCE: Pours a stark black and looks very viscous, you can see the deliciousness pouring out of the bottle. There is no head and no lacing at all though.

SMELL: Not as strong a nose as I would have liked, but what is there smells great. There is a good dose of chocolate and hops as well. The hops provide a hint of grapefruit and pine, but very subtly.

TASTE: This is where the Parabola completely lives up to all the hype. This is an outstandingly delicious beer. Vanilla and coffee dominate up front, but as the beer warms the chocolate lurking in the background becomes more and more noticeable. A touch of hop flavor also sneaks in, but not nearly as much as one might expect from an 82 IBU beer. The bitterness seems to come more from the coffee.

MOUTHFEEL: Superb. It feels exactly how a big, imperial stout should; thick, viscous, and a near-perfect balance of dry and sweet, although it does lean a bit to the sweet side.

OVERALL: The Parabola really dose live up to the hype and at $18 a bottle, this was more than worth it. I can not wait to try my next one.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 21:32:59 | More by StoneTSR
More User Reviews:
Photo of malfunxion

New York

5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-31-2014 05:31:20 | More by malfunxion
Photo of mizzouguy


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

07-30-2014 21:03:59 | More by mizzouguy
Photo of BradleySig


5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-30-2014 18:47:44 | More by BradleySig
Photo of WCW


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-30-2014 14:42:19 | More by WCW
Photo of ryanflc

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-30-2014 12:15:30 | More by ryanflc
Photo of Danimal25


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-30-2014 03:56:38 | More by Danimal25
Photo of ramay86


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-30-2014 03:49:35 | More by ramay86
Photo of JGLittle


4.75/5  rDev +3%

07-30-2014 01:50:31 | More by JGLittle
Photo of DinnerTheaterBrew


4.75/5  rDev +3%

07-30-2014 01:02:29 | More by DinnerTheaterBrew
Photo of Shaimless


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-29-2014 23:21:01 | More by Shaimless
Photo of AmericaGWShark


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-29-2014 14:57:22 | More by AmericaGWShark
Photo of ImperialBrau


3.25/5  rDev -29.5%

07-29-2014 05:32:09 | More by ImperialBrau
Photo of psmithmkt


4.75/5  rDev +3%

07-29-2014 00:57:37 | More by psmithmkt
Photo of Gunch43


5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-28-2014 22:03:16 | More by Gunch43
Photo of ckeegan04


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-28-2014 19:51:26 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Optcynbassist

5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-28-2014 17:47:39 | More by Optcynbassist
Photo of richj1970


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

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip glass. 2014 vintage.

A: At first glance, this is pitch black with absolutely no light penetrator. On closer examination, I swear there is a bit of deep mahogany brown lurking. One finger mocha colored head that settled quickly to a thin ring leaving very little lacing.

S: A wonderful bouquet of sweet bourbon, fresh picked cherries, vanilla, and good chocolate. Maybe a little hint of coconut and espresso.

T: Lots of bourbon bursts on the tongue from the first sip. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, espresso, and vanilla. The flavors remind me quite a bit of BCBS.

M: Full body coating the tongue nicely. Just a little alcohol burn at the end but not unexpected considering the 14% ABV.

O: Completely and utterly fantastic stout. One of my top three for sure. I really wish this was available in 12 oz bottles and distributed in my area.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2014 23:50:46 | More by richj1970
Photo of Flashyspoons


5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-27-2014 19:53:35 | More by Flashyspoons
Photo of Raalseth

4.75/5  rDev +3%

07-27-2014 16:22:18 | More by Raalseth
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours out the paragon of virtue. Completely opaque. Black walnut. If you only pour a bit like I did you will not see too much of the mocha colored head but it does refresh even though I did not pour one. It created a ring as I swirled it and left spot of lace and alcohol legs. In the natural light the beer showed a deep chestnut brown with engaging clarity. ( In the photo you can see my face in the beer)

Deep rich, sweet chocolate and hearty roasted malt combine on the nose. Subtle blushing cherries, bold bourbon and a bit of espresso coffee. The bourbon is like a flower that opens on the nose. It is fragrant and seductive. There is a scent of toasted coconut that is light and accented by a bit of vanilla. Dark fruits dance gayly in the background. Molasses rounds out the nose and the scent of sweetened nuts.

The palate is alive at once with earthy and full roast. This malt has been brought to the edge of blackness and yet it stays mellow and tempered with sweetness that collapses inward on all it's sides. The blushing cherry, the dry date, the light and airy oak, the creamy coconut and vanilla. The malt is dry and firm but just bitter enough to come up to the brink of char and stop short. Nothing burnt here. Smooth, creamy, chewy, full mouthfeel. Exceptional smoothness. The molasses takes over the palate as this finishes with bourbon getting lighter and the dark fruits getting stronger.

A slightly boozy finish takes hold at the very last moment of the swallow not with a big taste of alcohol but with a warmth like a smile from a gracious host who is sincerely happy to have set all this before you. The alcohol leaves a bit dry and fully engages the senses one more time before it's done.

Drinking this beer is like doing something you know is wrong and loving every minute of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2014 16:21:06 | More by utopiajane
Photo of OleDixie


4/5  rDev -13.2%

07-27-2014 16:21:00 | More by OleDixie
Photo of larryarms847


4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a thick midnight black with an off white/light brown head. Looks similar to crude oil.

Slightest of coffee, mainly toasted nuts, roasted malt, and bourbon to finish.

The coffee is still very slight in the overall flavor, but adds a nice roasted nuttiness to this monster of a beer. A lot of bourbon and dark chocolate are also prevalent.

Mouthfeel is thick, like I said before much like crude oil.

Overall, not my favorite BBA imperial stout, but nonetheless an amazing example of one.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2014 14:27:34 | More by larryarms847
Photo of NHbeerguy

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

07-27-2014 12:57:28 | More by NHbeerguy
Photo of redman84

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-27-2014 03:29:10 | More by redman84
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,356 ratings.