1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,192 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,192
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,619
Gots: 2,870 | FT: 205
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.

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 (77) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,192 | Reviews: 1,045
Photo of wiltznucs
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Phil_H
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of cxr1037
4.89/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My girlfriend was given this bottle as a birthday gift last October and we decided to crack it open tonight. No real special occasion but I'll say it's to celebrate the health of one of our pet rats. :D

From a 22oz bottle into a Bruery tulip.

Appearance: All barrel aged imperial stouts (BA-IS) look the same: pitch black with a big, mocha head that rapidly dissolves into a solid, tan ring.

NOSE: I wanted to say bourbon, but as it warms it's reminding me more of Armagnac - I think due to hints of cherries. Chocolate, lots of chocolate, with whip cream that makes me think of ice cream sundaes! I'll still go ahead and say bourbon. Vanilla. Oak.

TASTE: The common BA-IS traits are here: bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate and sweet roasted malts are supported by the barrel's contributions of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Another sip adds a few more notes - whip cream with chocolate syrup...those mental images of chocolate sundaes are coming back! Traces of nuttiness and alcohol.

MOUTHFEEL: Big, creamy body (obviously) that coats the mouth like a sweet dark blanket. There's nice carbonation; a little more than I anticipated.

FINISH: There's a strong alcohol presence. It seems more to me than 13%. The finish leaves my mouth coated in thick sweet chocolaty goodness.

OVERALL: I went into this expecting a standard BA-IS, and that's exactly what I got, which is just fine for me tonight. This is a perfect example of the style; the only real weakness might be the alcohol burn, but truth be told I kinda like it.

For the price/availability for me (in Southern California), I'd recommend this over just about any BA-IS I've come across. Truth be told, I downright like it more than a lot of them I've had recently, including the holier than thou BCBS.


Photo of ManLoveBeer
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of StompingClover
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Wesdrummer
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of fredmugs
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cgrz
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of gylgamesh
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of anhigdon
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of danieelol
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MrKennedy.

Pours black with well-retained head and lacing. Head is slightly tanned and a bit fizzy, which correctly suggests the body is not "thick" as such.

Nose is a banana split- banana, chocolate, vanilla. Thick and decadent chocolate ice cream. Cocoa powder. Still very bourbon-forward with an earthy chocolate behind that. But a very nice, smooth and integrated aroma. Perhaps a hint of rye/soy.

Taste is coffee grounds, banana. Bourbon. Some gunpowder as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is about medium. Sour and a little astringent.

Not an endlessly complex beer but an extremely solid one.

Tried a little in a black and tan with Evil Twin Molotov Cocktail. Not recommended.

Photo of OUJayhawk1799
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 bottling poured into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is pitch black, opaque, and very sinister-looking. A rough pour produces a thin, dark brown head that quickly dies down to a thin edge lacing. Mild nose (perhaps it's a bit cold) with muddled bourbon, oak, fudge, and dark fruit notes.

The beer is very full-bodied with a rich, complex flavor and velvety feel. The flavor is amazing and the super creamy feel of this beer pushes it completely off-the-chart. Extraordinary depth and complexity here. I don't think I've ever detected this many flavors in a beer since I first tried The Abyss. Sweet malt, toffee, and milk chocolate up front, followed by bourbon, licorice, and vanilla at mid-palate. Finally, I get fudge, coffee, and molasses in the back of the palate. There is just a whiff of alcohol warmth as the bourbon and toffee return and linger briefly on the finish with the coffee, then it all turns to rich, fruity port.

I am a huge fan of Russian Imperial Stouts and this is a masterpiece of a beer that approaches RIS flavor perfection. I'd love to try this a little fresher so I can get the total effect. My thanks to ThaFATkid for giving me the opportunity to try this. I owe you one, buddy!

Photo of Beerrenda
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of jbdpsu82
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of MrBuckHigh
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of jb3304
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of rich42
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of nreynoso90
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of firedwarftj
4.75/5  rDev +3%

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Dag48
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Pwnzilla
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of RonJeezy
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of sonnmr31
5/5  rDev +8.5%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,192 ratings.