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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,677 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3677
Reviews: 921
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 8.26%


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)
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Ratings: 3,677 | Reviews: 921 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BastardKing24
BastardKing24

Oregon

4.98/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the one, the only, PARABOLA. I have had this 3 times before in the past 3 years. This is the biggest one yet at 14%, I am curious how it will end up.

Pours a very dark black with a brown edge to it, so its semi transparent. Not the darkest RIS I've seen, but its just fine. a small mocha head recedes fast to a ring and lacing.

Smell is perfect. Boozy bourbon and coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, you name it. anything dark like in the food chain lol, smokiness, toffee, caramel, figs, raisins, prunes, did I mention bourbon? Its all here.

Taste is similar. This huge wallop of chocolate and bourbon hits the tongue and stays there for days. All the aformentioned smells are there in the taste, plus I have to say theres a leather note as well. Vanilla too. Also, the alcohol gives a slight burn to the tongue but it's not harsh like a shot of whiskey.

Feel is nice, very slick and oily, this thing has legs on the side of the glass like motor oil. Carbonation is just right at about low to medium.

Overall I highly suggest people find this and try it, or trade for it if they can't get it back east. It's a sensation you will never forget, and I am glad that I bought 3 bottles of it. Worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 22:41:11 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of samtrillo
samtrillo

California

4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014; Lagunitas Mason Jar.

A - Black with two finger mocha head.

S - Initial blast of cocoa from the bottle. In glass, bourbon vanilla, sweet vanilla, alcohol, coconut, roasted caramel. This should be a candle scent, jesus.

T - So I'm drinking some sort of Mocha bourbon liqueur, right? This is beer, you guys. Sweet mocha and smoke. I'm at a campfire drinking whiskey and eating s'mores. Gah, dark and sweet chocolates, vanilla, dark fruit character.

M- Very smooth upfront with lots of alcohol at the end. Spiciness because of it. Confusing at first, but surprisingly drinkable after the first 3 sips. It's not viscous or syrupy like I've experienced with other stouts in this realm.

O - Very pleased with this beer after all the buzz from my coworkers and the price. IMHO, as much I revere high alcohol content, and Parabola does a great job at dancing with its %14, I feel the flavours could ring a little stronger around %10.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 05:50:21 | More by samtrillo
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

4.98/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - 4.5 - dark brown black with mocha head that fades quick (high ABV), looks like motor oil.
S - 5 - bourbon, oak, smoke, dark chocolate, espresso
T - 5 - Super smooth, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, smokiness, roasted malts, nice barrel flavors, caramel, coconut.
M - 5 - super thick, alc covered, aftertaste is coffee, bourbon, roasted malts, smoke, and oak barrel flavors.
O - 5 - I've heard this is the best of all the batches so far. I can't argue with that. Probably THE best barrel aged imperial stout that I've had. Hands down amazing.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2014 15:15:07 | More by ISmith87
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LambicPentameter

Kansas

4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very thankful to BA SammyJaxxx for sending this one along. Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating that I can see, however, the vintage, 2011, is clearly printed front and center on the label. Poured into a small old fashioned glass.

Appearance - A moderately-aggressive pour coaxes out a half-finger of cocoa powder colored foam that makes a fizzy show for a few seconds before receding back into a ringlet of bubbles around the edge of the glass and an ethereal tracing of film around the top of the liquid . Lacing is nonexistent, but that's to be expected on a 3 year old BA beer.

Smell - Interestingly, Parabola reminds me a bit in aroma of both Merkin and XVII, so it's hard not to wonder if there is some "house" flavor to FW beers. Wonderfully intoxicating, just short of cloying, notes of graham cracker, coconut, oaky vanilla tannins and a pleasant undertone of baker's chocolate, but not overpoweringly bitter--just a hint of roasted char to bring some balance to the sweeter elements.

Taste - Here the bourbon makes a bit more of an appearance than it did in the smell, with notes of spicy booze adding to the woody elements of the toasted oak. Supporting the estery characateristics are richer flavor profiles of roasted malt, burnt caramel, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel - Just a shade lower than completely full bodied, with a pleasant viscosity that provides a hefty serving dish for the myriad flavors. Carbonation is moderate to low, I'm assuming a bit faded after three years of sitting.

Overall, just a fantastically rich and wonderful barrel aged stout. It's not as thick as I really like my RIS' to be, but I'm honestly quite impressed at the body considering the barrel aging. Firestone Walker really knows what they are doing when it comes to their barrel program. It's just too bad everyone knows that, making their brews hard to come by here in Kansas City.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 21:14:04 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of Catracho5
Catracho5

California

4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 22 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch black, no hint of red or brown when held up to the light. No head, but there some small bubbles on the top and a little bit around the edges of the beer.

Smell: Huge bourbon smell like nothing I have ever smelled in a beer. The bourbon is overwhelming, this was my second bourbon barrel aged beer, and seem to distract from what I consider a stout to be.

Taste: Huge bourbon taste up front, the alcohol is heavy on the back end, I did not get any of the roasted malts or coffee flavor, all bourbon taste. I am not sure what to think of the bourbon flavor but the beer is incredibly smooth, incredibly.

Mouthfeel: Thick, no carbonation, oily feeling, the low carbonation is strange, I am used to a little carbonation.

Overall: I struggled with the bourbon aroma and flavor, the low carbonation but when this beer is consumed it's world class. It's an awesome sipper, I sipped mine for about 40 minutes. It's a must try. I am hoping to pick another bottle to cellar and see what it likes in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 05:07:34 | More by Catracho5
Photo of blankenhoney
blankenhoney

Ohio

4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown cola. Foamy head that settles in <10 seconds. Brown film coats the glass.

S: Huge barrel character; raisins and cherries; vanilla; chocolate; roasted coffee beans. Quite boozy.

T: Like drinking a booze- and vanilla-soaked bar of dark chocolate; dry red fruit; roasted malt; faint tobacco; oak everywhere. Super boozy, but the kind of booze that complements rather than overwhelms everything. Great dryness and mild bitter dark chocolate on the aftertaste.

M: Perfect: creamy, sticky, substantial, and chewy; dry cocoa powder all over the tongue.

O: OK I guess.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 00:01:48 | More by blankenhoney
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Bedrocker

Washington

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage poured from a 22 oz into a snifter.

A: Black as used motor oil. Pours a small tan head that leaves excellent lacing.

S: First smell I detect is oak and bourbon. Coffee and chocolate are there too, along with a little bit of vanilla. Very sweet smelling, with a slight touch of toasted malt.

T: Incredible. Bourbon and oak start off like in the nose, and then a cascade of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and malt. The balance of these flavors is what makes this beer so good. There's a little bit of bitterness in there from the roasted malt, and it pairs extremely well with the sweetness of the beer. The finish is also very sweet, with a chocolate and bourbon aftertaste that covers up a slight amount of booziness.

M: Thick and full-bodied. Not syrupy like some big stouts, but drinks like silk. Warms your throat up as well, which is to be expected from a 14% brew...

O: My favorite barrel-aged stout out there. This is my favorite yearly release from FW, and this year's release was excellent. When I'm drinking this, I savor every last drop. Every sweet, roasty, complex drop.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 16:21:39 | More by Bedrocker
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception

California

4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Firestone's Parabola, Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout. 14% ABV.

A: Just a little tan head. Fades quickly. Pours a rich brown. Pitch black in the glass, with a root beer meniscus. More rich brown in the dimple, with a bright caramel edge. Some very fine lacing. Thin ring of head stays the course.

S: Bourbon apparent as soon as the bottle is cracked! Very nice blend of bourbon and chocolate. Burnt caramel, toffee, dry cocoa/dark chocolate. Not as complex as I was expecting, but a very nice overall aroma!

T/MF: Feels very thick! Creamy. Very deep, dark flavor profile. Very strong, sweet Bourbon flavor up front. Even deeper burnt caramel, bordering on tar or tobacco. Sweet dark chocolate towards the back. Some sweet char, with almost graphite-like notes. Faintest hint of licorice.

I still like the Velvet Merlin better, but certainly a strong beer! Biggest Bourbon presence I've had yet, I think. This seems like a beer that demands rich food accompaniment! ...Speaking of which, I have some salted caramel gelato in the freezer, and it is about dessert time!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 05:01:27 | More by TruePerception
Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
ChristopherWIU-UTPA

Texas

4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an outstanding beer, that's brewed in small batches, and has a high alcohol content. I pours dark brown, medium sized mocha head, and vivacious carbonation. It has a taste of Kentucky bourbon, Tabaco, and the finest roasted coffee beans. It has a strong edge, with an aftertaste of chocolate and bourbon, and leaves you wanting another sip. This is one to enjoy....

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 04:24:59 | More by ChristopherWIU-UTPA
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Fremont and Reuben's Brew small snifters. A long awaited mini vertical of the original bottling (2010) and the fresh 2014 vintage. The older bottle was properly cellar aged. Both were similar in appearance: a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass with a thin, patchy light brown head, slightly more foam on the newer bottle.
2010: Aroma dominated by bourbon and oak, with vanilla, dark malt, dark dried fruit. Flavor is sweet dark toasted malt with a hint of char, chocolate, vanilla, dark dried fruit; finishes with the most amazing cocoa aftertaste similar to finishing a spiked glass of hot chocolate, bourbon. Remarkable and warming. Medium creamy bodied. The initial flavor is beautifully balanced between the chocolate flavors, malt and bourbon, but the bourbon and chocolate eventually dominate the finish. Delicious.

2014: Aroma of toffee, vanilla, bourbon soaked dried dark fruit, faint dark malt. Flavor follows, dominated by toffee, vanilla and bourbon, supported by dark toasted malt and dark dried fruit flavors, finishing boozy with caramel bourbon. Medium bodied with creaminess. Quite a different flavor profile from the aged one, the older version really emphasizing chocolate and whiskey (not quite as identifiable and bourbon) and the newer one brighter with toffee, vanilla and lighter fruit as well as the dark dried fruit. The newer one is slightly less sweet.

The aged Parabola has virtually no signs of oxidation at all, which in my experience is unusual with stouts, and one of the reasons I'm aging fewer stouts in favor of barley wines these days. Except for the wonderful balance and integration of flavors, it is not possible for me to tell this is 4 years old, it has aged wonderfully. I deeply regret not aging more of these now and with this very tough to find on the market now, it appears to be unlikely that it will be easy to find additional bottles for the cellar any more.

This is a stout that completely lives up to its hype. Excellent and very different fresh. Apparently with many, many years left for aging. A masterpiece.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 02:56:17 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of BeerZombies1
BeerZombies1

Nevada

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Parabola - Firestone Walker
Russian Imperial Stout
14% ABV

APPEARANCE: Pours a deep shadow black from a bright sunny day. Slight dark chocolate rim variation. With a pillowy, creamy mocha head.

AROMA: Ginger bread pudding topped with coconut ice cream drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce. Hints of raisins, and heat from the high ABV.

TASTE: Sexy and seducing layers that evolve in your mouth. Chocolate, leather, tobacco amazingly balanced with raisins molasses and bright oaky flavors. So delicious, just letting it roll back and forth getting more and more flavors each second.

MOUTHFEEL: medium body with vivacious and enthusiastic carbonation that dances in your mouth. Some heat from the 14% ABV, that ends with a nice long finish that leaves the mouth coated in a oily sweetness.

OVERALL: Very easy drinking and amazing flavor profile. Up until now the bcs has been the top of my stout list, this may have just knocked it off!

RATING: 5/5 Zombie Heads!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 18:04:51 | More by BeerZombies1
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black color with a one finger of cream colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass. The thickness of the brew can be seen right after pouring and when swirling in the snifter with thick fingers of liquid clinging the sides of the glass before slowly fading to the base of the beer at the bottom of the snifter.

Smell – The aroma of the beer has tons of chocolate and coffee in the nose. Along with these smells are some wonderful oaky and bourbon aromas mixed with a good dose of caramel and vanilla sweetness. Some other lighter aromas of a more dark fruit nature are thee as well with smells of cherry, raisin and plum all there. Overall the aroma is big roasty and sweet producing a nice warming aroma overall..

Taste – The taste begins with a massive level of roasty malt and sweet chocolate with a huge sweet caramel and vanilla flavor. Even from the start some bourbon and oaky flavors are detected on the tongue. While very sweet upfront, the beer incredibly gets even sweeter as the caramel ramps up and is joined by some brown sugar and a toffee sweetness with other flavors of “lighter” dark fruits of fig and raisin (light in comparison to sugar flavors; although by no means light). The roastedness and chocolate flavors fade a tad at the increase of the sweet. Some coffee comes to the tongue however and just like the sweeter flavors, the booziness and bourbon flavors get quite a bit stronger in nature as well. These transitions, with the massive increases in the sweetness and the booziness, all in the end, leave a big, massively sweet and moderately boozy warming taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both were fantastic for the darker flavors of the brew as well as for the huge sweet and alcohol flavors of the brew with the lower carbonation only accentuating these. With its boozy and oaky flavors in conjunction with the sweet and dark flavors of the brew the overall thick body and lower carbonation really make this one a nice warming brew and a nice slow drinker.

Overall – Big, robust, massively sweet, and warming. This is a nice imperial stout. A little sweeter then I would want on any real occasion, but this one makes a dessert all in itself, being quite nice for a capper to an evening after dinner on a cooler winter night.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 01:46:21 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of 01001111
01001111

California

4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Coffee black with a slight viscosity.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses, vanilla, mild coconut, bourbon and booze.

T: Robust, bitter roast with a sweet backbone. Bourbon and booze come in on the finish. The bitterness and char linger.

M: The flavor is thick. The mouthfeel itself is full without being too viscous or syrupy. There's a lot of heat in the throat as it goes down.

O: Absolutely a world class, barrel aged stout. Strong, bold, and not too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 05:06:47 | More by 01001111
Photo of Sumdeus
Sumdeus

California

4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opened up a 2014 and poured into a pair of FW tulips.

A: Very dark brown/black. Almost no head, very light ring around the edges of the glass. No lacing.

S: Boozy and oaky. The booze is very dominate. Sweet and charred sugars.

T: caramel, bourban, toffee, earthy/oak. Great balance, nothing overwhelms. I feel like 2014 is not as alcohol hot as 2013, but I'm not comparing them side to side. Abv is up to 14% this year, but I can't taste it.

M: smooth, velvety, and syrupy. It's great, has great feel, but doesn't linger.... Keeps you coming back for more.

O: probably my favorite beer, definitely my favorite stout/barrel aged stout. I look forward to parabolas release every year and this year doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 02:51:08 | More by Sumdeus
Photo of ricknelson
ricknelson

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Parabola came out on top in my recent 8 beer tasting, beating out 7 of Firestone Walker's other top beers. Out of the seven BA guys we had at the tasting, Parabola got the highest marks for look, smell, taste, mouthfeel and overall. We had a pretty even split of tasters who liked IPA's to those who liked belgians and porters, and those who liked stouts. So to come out on top was pretty impressive for this stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 22:55:15 | More by ricknelson
Photo of sippinsudz74
sippinsudz74

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Found this 2012 bottle at Best Buy liquors in Camarillo,Ca.
A- midnight, head fizzled quick leaving a thin light cream colored ring on edge of glass.
S- like figs and raison soaked in coffee. You can smell vanilla.
T- follows smell raisons, figs, roasted java, slight bitter cocao with toasted coconut at the end and some hops hanging around. No burn, so smooth.
M- silky not light but not too heavy. Leaves my lips sticky. Leaves you dry, maybe time to drink some h2o.
O- overall lucky I was able to snag this. Parabola is efin sweet. I cant believe it was still available. Still some left.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 19:07:52 | More by sippinsudz74
Photo of BingCrosby7
BingCrosby7

California

4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A This beer is very, very deep black, but there is a slight variance around the edges. The head is very tiny with minimal retention, so there is almost no lacing around the glass. There is a deep ruby hue in the center when the light catches the glass.
S The whisky barrel is very strong on the nose. There seems to be more booze on the nose the further into the bottle you get, but that doesn't take away from the overall effect on the nose. There's a slight malt and a slightly sugary note on the nose, but for the most part it is a little subdued.
T There is a distinct stratification of layers in this beer, and it's amazing. First, I get smoke and char and whisky barrel on the palate. Then, there is a distinct malty, caramel, and vanilla undercurrent that washes away the front end of the taste. At the end, there is almost a chocolate covered dark cherry and plum taste on the back end. The high alcohol cleans the palate just enough to leave you wanting more. This is an amazing experience; I can't wait to have more. Every sip is different. Every sip is fucking sublime.
M This is almost perfectly carbonated--a little too bubbly. I would prefer it on nitro (like that's gonna happen) but aside from that it doesn't get better than this.
O This is a nearly perfect beer. Jesus Herbert Walker Christ.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 03:07:20 | More by BingCrosby7
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SeanBond

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally got to try Parabola, and well worth the wait it was. Firestone Walker's answer to BCBS is similar in a lot of ways, but sweeter, with less bourbon taste, and a slightly thinner mouthfeel. There are things about this that I prefer, but also places where BCBS is king.

I don't get proponents of either side claiming "dominance" over the other; these are two of the greatest BBA stouts you'll ever run into, and both deserve equal representation in your collection.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 06:08:21 | More by SeanBond
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MrPlayboy

Illinois

4.99/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So, until tonight I didn't think anything could top Bourbon County but I had never drank of the Parabola's sweet elixir. This is right on par with Proprietor's and has almost as much coconut flavor and aroma though I'm not sure how that is possible since Parabola has no coconut added.

Vintage 2014, picked up today from Whole Foods Chicago

Appearance: Black as night with a tan head that dissipates quickly after pouring. Some moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell: Oh boy, this stuff smells so good. It is hard to describe all the different aromas but I am picking up bourbon, caramel, coconut, and a little vanilla.

Taste: Here is where Parabola asserts itself as a beer for the ages. Starts off boozy and sweet and then finishes with coconut and a bitter cocoa like 90% dark chocolate. There is a slight hop presence on the long finish that lingers and keeps you coming back for more.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for the style but it lends itself to being a very drinkable BA stout. Very light carbonation and slightly sticky.

Parabola goes from bourbon and brown sugar to coconut, cocoa, and then hops if you wait for it. This is complex and incredible. Gives any BA stout a run for its money.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 02:35:36 | More by MrPlayboy
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive been holding this in my cellar for a while...2012 release.
I actually have another so it will be cool to compare later.
Poured into FW Teku...I love appropriate glassware...
deep black color with no head. Really deep dried fruit and sweet caramel bourbon aromas...nicely oxidated with large dose of chocolate....yea complex..
taste is deeeep chocolate...dried fruit...bourbon....figgy...oxidated...really fing awesome.
Its smooth, rich, complex, dry, sweet...balanced. for 12.5% this is seriously chugable. at the price and availability its less than sippable...I don't want it to end. A privilege to have. A superb and world class brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 00:44:27 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Parabola with my FW snifter glass only to fulfill its one true destiny

Notes transcribed on 02/22/14

A: Dark chocolate brown and completely opaque in the glass. Looks a little thin on the pour but collects fairly dark. Thin brim of light brown sugar on top with only some minimal stay. Settles out to a swirl rather quickly and not much stick other than a few alcohol legs. A little as to be expected with a high ABV barrel aged brew.

S: Coconut and chocolate crème meets with brown sugars and maple soaked oak timbers. Vanilla emerges in waves along with a distinct earthy hop presence. There is a bit of a boozy sting on the nostrils however it does not detract from all the dessert aromatics. Smells quite incredible with tons of coconut.

T: Milk chocolate and lightly charred wood with vanilla crème and toasted coconut are all seamlessly layered over a dark charred roast malt base. Comes together like a crème brulee really. So good. Not incredibly strong on the spirits but man dat coconut is so prominent. There is an upper level of bitter hoppiness to the beer that brings in an earthy mineral likeness as well. The alcohol is a bit sharp still however I find it very manageable overall.

M: The beer is full bodied however it has a much thinner feel than expected. Stays very light and frothy on the palate with a nice prickly bitterness and bit of drying at the finish. Some warming alcohol is evident and there is a light oily coat left over.

D: Firestone Walker Parabola is a sure thing. A magnificent blend of in depth stout flavors and barrel character. World class and always recommended. You can’t go wrong here with the lovely dessert flavors and sipping nature of this brew.

Dat coconut!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 21:27:51 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of macher0
macher0

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Acquired via trade. Very excited.

Bottle tulip.

A. Poured black, with some dark amber tint around the edges, with a 2 finger slightly amber head. fine bubbles. Head retreats to a film and rim. Low viscosity.

S. Moderate fragrance. Starts off with major notes of bourbon and dark roasted malts. Minor notes of vanilla, toffee, oak, dust, and marshmallow.

T. Starts off very similar to the nose with dark roasted malts, bourbon-soaked oak, some hops, and caramel. Minor notes of marshmallow, toffee, nuts, and a moderate booze that builds as it opens.

M. Kind of thin - not necessarily a bad thing.

O. This beer lives up to the reputation and is certainly worth the hype and rating. One can defiantly tell this has aged 12 months. This is not my favorite BA stout, but is certainly up there.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 23:25:33 | More by macher0
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brureview

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012

Poured in a tulip- a dark chocolate opaque color. Beautiful with a 1/2F head.

The aroma is layered chocolate- a candy milk chocolate.

The mouth feel: not very carbonated.

The taste is very layered and subtle- one of the advantages of a beer that cellars well.
There is no harshness- only layers of flavor. Exceptionally rich chocolate, semi sweet.

Finish: mildly alcoholic, but not overdone. Balanced,smooth, yet with an alcoholic presence.

World class beer richer with cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 03:12:04 | More by brureview
Photo of Belchmaster
Belchmaster

California

5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I Can Say is God Serves This In Heaven!!!
Get a bottle of this. Find one, somewhere, anywhere, pay big bucks for it if you have to - or better yet, get a buddy to get one and share it with your buddy...but you need to have one of these!
The complexity is out of this world.
Chill it. Pour it cold, try it cold and sip it as it warms a bit and enjoy the taste as it warms and changes. Oh boy are you in for a treat!...all the way to the last drop...you'll be licking the bottle.
I love dark beers - this is dark - and even if you like blonde beers you will love this.
This and Barrel Aged Speedway Stout (Ale Smith) are the best beers in the world. All other beers are not even close. You can take that to the bank.
I do not want to describe the pour, the aroma, the mouth feel, the taste, aftertaste, etc...as this one needs to be experienced without giving you any indication of anything about it so you get the ultimate experience of WOW, Holy Christ, thank you God, that you will experience.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 05:30:38 | More by Belchmaster
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stopped into the Portsmouth Brewery for their start of Portsmouth Beer Week, where they had some tasty Imperial Stouts on tap.... First off? Parabola! Bring it! Got a 10oz tulip (at $8.00) to start off....

Glass contained a dark, jet-black brew, letting no light pass through.... Head was tan and thin, a rim-clinger, with minimal lace.... Nose had some choco and dark fruit, and bourbon notes were quite evident.... Body was full, heavy and chewy, with the bier being very smooth and creamy....

Had some sweetish notes, with woody bourbon right up front... warming alcohol was quite evident, and dark fruit notes made themselves clear.... dates and raisins were found amongst the bourbon action... Quite tasty!!!

Prosit!!
4.21/5 rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1633

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2014 01:36:47 | More by Bierman9
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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,677 ratings.