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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,740 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,740
Reviews: 993
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,254
Gots: 2,623 | FT: 186
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,740 | Reviews: 993 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ldhughes3
4.75/5  rDev +3%

ldhughes3, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Masspike84
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Masspike84, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of Hill4Hops
3.25/5  rDev -29.5%

Hill4Hops, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of CaptainPancakes
4.75/5  rDev +3%

CaptainPancakes, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of cfrobrew
4.75/5  rDev +3%

cfrobrew, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of douginromeo
4.75/5  rDev +3%

douginromeo, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of zekeman17
5/5  rDev +8.5%

zekeman17, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of bnelson997
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The cliche that "words can't express" definitely comes to mind. That said, here are some puny words from me to express my views of this nectar of the gods. This bottle was a 2012 release poured into a Firestone Walker tulip.

A - Black as night. A vigorous pour which yielded a 2 finger tan head that dissipated quickly, as is to be expected.

S - Roasty, toasty malts which gave up dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and espresso.

T - Wow! The rich coffee and espresso notes really shine in this vintage. The oaky vanilla/bourbon doesn't smack you in the face, it's released ever so sweetly and delicately from the front to the back of your mouth. There is even some slight dark fruit in the middle. The age has done this beer wonders and you just don't taste the 13% ABV. Definitely a sweetness, but one that is pleasant and rich, not cloying.

M - Ever so silky across the palate.

O - Hands down, this is my personal favorite beer of all time. So well balanced and should be the example for brewer's everywhere what a barrel aged Imperial Stout should be. It ages perfectly, but is oh so fantastic as a young beer (I had the 2013 on release weekend at the brewery on tap). I just have to say over and over how good this beer is!

bnelson997, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of sacrifyse
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

sacrifyse, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of TallSaint
4.74/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

July 29th, 2013

Bottle purchased at DeCicco's.

2013 vintage.

It pours an opaque midnight black and is light brown on its edges with a half finger of light brown head.

Sweet roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla first hit the nose. This is quickly followed by a volley of oaky vanilla, and bourbon spirit that rounds out the early sweetness. Booze is perceptible but only barely, impressive for 13%; however as it opens this booze becomes much more pronounced. There's a touch of soy sauce but this is light.

This beer presents an immense, boisterous complexity that is nothing short of artful. Upfront dark chocolate and coffee rally back and forth in a tantalizing and inviting fore-palate. This leads into a chocolatey, roasty and deliciously sweet mid palate - this soon proves to be the fulcrum of this beer. The finish is a beautiful example of perfect barrel aging. Oaky vanilla and bourbon spirit explode in the finish and provide an excellent foil to the sweeter flavors that are present upfront. The finish also packs a boozy, but fitting, punch. Despite this binary balance in flavors there is a consistent undercurrent. The characteristics of the barrel lie subtly underneath the fore and mid palate and then overtake these flavors in the back providing balance.

The mouthfeel of this beer is near perfect. The beer is viscous and seemingly lacks carbonation until the back where it lifts the beer and nearly negates any heady booze.

This is a gorgeous beer that is in my mind one of the best barrel aged stouts that I have ever had the plesure of consuming. It is a sipper for sure but it leaves the mind continually processing its complexity. It is absolutely incredible and perfectly balanced with every element working in perfect union with the others.

TallSaint, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of AaBryan
5/5  rDev +8.5%

AaBryan, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Funkwich
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Funkwich, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Cynic-ale, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of largefarva
5/5  rDev +8.5%

largefarva, Jul 29, 2013
5/5  rDev +8.5%

ROBSTARR, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Abilow33
4.74/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the best stout I have ever had. The beer pours a dark coffee color with a thick brown head. The taste is so good it mask the high alcohol content. Most beers with an alcohol content this high taste like a bum wine. This beer is flavorable and delicious. The smell was great, it was fresh and crisp.

Abilow33, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of BeerMeInStl
4.75/5  rDev +3%

BeerMeInStl, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of BierGartenok
4.75/5  rDev +3%

BierGartenok, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of RyanTheLion13
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

RyanTheLion13, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

GonzoHomebrewer, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of jawneyt
5/5  rDev +8.5%

jawneyt, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of Dave_Treat
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Dave_Treat, Jul 26, 2013
Photo of emilylee
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

emilylee, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of BA_Berto
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Dark as night, with the look of motor oil.

Smell- Sweet. Chocolate, and hints of coffee. Balanced Bourbon finish.

T- WOW! One of the top three beers I've ever tried. It was like eating a s'more by the campfire. Chocolate, marshmallow...Delicious!

M- The best beer I've ever felt. Viscous and wonderfully present. I enjoyed this one!

O- Easily one of the best beers that I've ever had! Would love to have the opportunity to enjoy this one again and again!

BA_Berto, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of moonknight31
4.75/5  rDev +3%

moonknight31, Jul 25, 2013
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,740 ratings.