Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,991 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,991
Reviews: 1,007
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,344
Gots: 2,704 | FT: 188
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)
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,991 | Reviews: 1,007 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mikesgroove for indulging me. Pours thick black with nearly black head. This is a bourbon story. Bourbon hits you in the nose and is strong, with alcohol apparent, in the taste. I am Ok with bourbon in moderation, we are not a corn distilled fan nation, but it was too much. Cocoa powder and coconut was also experienced and not integrated. This is above average body, it was finishable, I owed it to the brewers. Not as great as many other RIS I have consumed of late, it is an example of what is turned out as a big beer.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a thin film on the top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. The smell of this beer is very complex with toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste is the same as the nose with more of a cocoa powder flavor coming through than milk chocolate. Mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with very complex smells and flavors. Some of the smells and flavors remind me a lot of Abacus which I can only assume is from the barrel aging program both beers went through. I am glad I have a few more of these in my cellar to enjoy in the future.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Skuter for getting this out to me.

A: Pours near-black with a nice tan head that sticks around with a bit of lacing.

S: Very, very nice. The first thing I notice is quite a bit of oak alongside some vanilla and bits of char. In the background there are notes of chocolate and roasted coffee.

T: Much the same as the nose, but the roasted malt and oak take over a little bit, not allowing many of the subtle complexities to come through. It is very clear that this played a big role in the final FW13 blend.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium to full body.

D: Quite drinkable, although I really wish that the flavor profile was as well-integrated and complex as the nose. I'm definitely looking forward to trying this with a bit of age on it.

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of metter98
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that quickly faded away and left some lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are strong aromas of bourbon, oak and vanilla on the nose along with some hints of alcohol.
T: Quite complex, the taste is very similar to the smell with flavors of oak and vanilla and also has notes of chocolate and hints of wine in the flavors. The complexity increases as the beer warms up.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation with heat from the alcohol in the finish.
O: Despite its strength, the beer doesn’t taste overly strong but is a good sipping beer because its complex aroma and taste will retain your interest.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottling

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a ringlet of foam that fades away though it leaves some dots and dashes behind

Smell: Chocolate, oatmeal/raisin and Bourbon

Taste: Rich chocolate flavors, up front, with the oatmeal/raisin and marshmallow flavors developing; by mid-palate, the Bourbon adds its heft to the sweeter elements, creating a boozy counterpoint; after the swallow, the sweeter flavors re-emerge, providing balance into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, slightly creamy; boozy, with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: As can be inferred from the geometry of its name, this beer is still moving along the curve to the apogee; not sure how long the process will take but it is still a ways away from its optimal point of consumption

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Insane intensity and full of character, this Imperial Russian Stout is one for the ages.

Dark, dark brown (nearly black) with almost complete opaqueness, only admitting light around the estreme edges. Froathy tan head formation leads to average retainage (falters underneath the thinning of 13% abv.). Light on lacing but moderate on classic brandy legging.

Deep and complex aromas start and finish with brownie-like chocolaty notes that are decorated with cherry, sherry, soy, grape, dates, figs, caramel, vanilla, and aged woods. With all that going on, the beer's aroma is all about the bittersweet chocolate and French roast coffee.

Chocolatey early, the beer morphs into Irish Coffee flavors (think whisky and cream), and fruitness that comes equally from fruity esters and alcohols. Again, aged and dehydrated fruits of cherries, apples, figs, dates, raisons all give a rum-soaked fruitcake flavor that carries through to the finish and aftertaste.

Full and rich early, the beer breaks early to finish with an alcohol thinning texture and ultimately warm, maybe hot finish. Very drinkable because it doesn't start too thick but doesn't finish thin, fusal, or abrasive.

Very well balanced throughout, Parabola demonstrates all of what is prominant about the spread of flavors that make up the Russian Imperial Stout profile. All of this manifests in a beer that reviels new flavors with each warming sip. Delicious and succulent from sip to finish, this beer drinks much more easily than it should.

Thanks Auroracrisis!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.21/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with some light vanilla notes and some light dry roasted malt. Taste is dominated by loads of black chocolate notes with some light dry roasted malt and some vanilla and light bourbon notes. Taste is definitely quite complex and not as dry as expected with quite a bit of residual sugar coming through. Body is full with a really nice creamy texture and some good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. I can’t find many fault in this beer except that that bourbon could bit a bit more pronounced.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can this beer live up to the hype, I have a lot of expectations on it to be honest. I have been staring at it on my wants list for 3 years, dying to get a taste, but with no luck. Then they bottle it and I go into full on rage mode to get some. A kind BA sent me a bottle and I am in heaven. My son graduated yesterday, what better way to celebrate I could not think of one.

Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/26/2010.

Deep and dark, black as night this one poured with a tremendous fury. Evil looking and thick as oil it came at me . Small two finger head settled down and coated the sides with sticky chocolate colored lacing that let me know I was in for it.

As I reach in and take a whiff it hits me like a ton of bricks. Deep aroma of roasted malts, huge bourbon notes , vanilla, molasses, tons of rich oak and lots of sugary and boozy touches. Hard to explain, just soo complex I dont know where to begin. Warming just confuses me more as the profile seems neverending. Each sip is like liquid god for me. Deep roasted notes, coffee, light licorice, bourbon, boozy flavor that seems to dominate early on but fade as it starts to warm. Vanilla, and oak, chocolate, rich decadent notes of toffee and never ending complexity welcome me and wont let me go. Smooth carbonation, full, complex body, delicous, perfect nightcap.

Overall everything I wanted it to be and then some. One of the best BA beers I have ever had. It works on every level possible. So worth seeking out.

Photo of womencantsail
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Palms 1st Anniversary

A: Dark as night and wonderful viscosity to it. No head and no visible carbonation.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, licorice, some graham cracker, and slight booze.

T: A truly amazing beer. Very smooth vanilla flavor from the barrel, lots of chocolate, and some graham cracker. The booze is very well hidden in this monster, as well.

M: Huge body, velvety smooth.

D: I was expecting this one to be really overwhelming, but it wasn't at all. A fantastic beer, one that I wish I could have more often, and I actually ended up buying two glasses of it today.

Photo of Knapp85
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's Black Friday event, this beer poured out as a very dark black color with a thin tan head on top. The smell of the beer was roasted and sweet, some aromas of wood and sweet bourbon on the nose. The taste of the beer is just stunning... I really couldn't believe how nice this tasted. The sweet bourbon flavors come out perfectly in this brew. The mouthfeel of this beer was thick and oily just like it should be. Overall this brew is special. It's very very good!

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,991 ratings.