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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ParabolaParabola

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,123 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,123
Reviews: 1,031
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,550
Gots: 2,754 | FT: 193
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.

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]
View: Beers (76) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Parabola Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,123 | Reviews: 1,031 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iwanatalk2sampson
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 ages better than I though would (wow!!!!!!!) liked it fresh better with age

Photo of baetix
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of jyacco15
4.52/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of d_kizzle
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gcrowell77
4.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of humuloner22
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one was the 2014 edition.

Appearance: Dark frothy caramel colored head that sits there pretty long considering the abv.

Aroma: Vanilla initially is dominant on this one, it does not smell too boozy considering the abv. but the bourbon and the oak do come through on the nose. It also has some roasted malts and a mild hop presence.

Taste: Bourbon and barrel are upfront, then vanilla and caramel come through in the mid palate. This is not a cloyingly sweet beer its very well balanced and surprisingly not boozy at all considering the 14% abv. It also has a nice velvety smooth mouthfeel. Its a very enjoyable BA stout and I am happy I have had the opportunity to try this one.

Overall: Very well worth the place it holds as one of the best stouts out there! I think this one kicks Bourbon County out of the room. Its not boozy considering the similar abv whereas Bourbon County is very alcoholic in flavor and pretty one sided. This beer is really what most bourbon barrel aged stouts should try to achieve.

Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Heatwave33
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- Creamy black silk that is only found inside the deep crevices in California.

Smell- Dark chocolate aged in roasty bourbon barrels for her pleasure.

Taste- As if the whiskey barrel creamed in my mouth!

Feel- Creamy, smooth, refreshing and hoping for a call the next day.

Overall- The first time a met her we made love all night. I told myself not to jump straight into the sack with this and build respect for a well founded relationship. But I couldn't help myself. My animal magnetism took over and I did what felt right. I'm thankful she still answers the phone when I call.

Photo of cubs943
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a pretty good beer.

Photo of AndrewPalmer
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Taby
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of SierraFlight
4.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mike_Amps
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NicDacey
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheBeerBadBoy
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of MasterPenguins
4.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of msanborn
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CCutch
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic, different texture then Abyss or BCBS!
Awesome lots of body!!
Not as boozym, the Molasses in Abyss was nice.
On a tap @ Toronado all 3 awesome but Parabola takes the cske!!!

Photo of TheBrewo
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We unleash a bottle of 2013’s “No. 004” into our three-quarter sized tasting snifters. It glugs out a very dark and oily espresso brown coloring, producing no real head despite a heavy-handed pour. Small aggregates of chocolate brown bubbles cling to our glasses as you swirl the liquid, but otherwise no lacing comes forwards. The dregs of the bottle actually helped stir up a half finger’s worth of this same foam, but this wasn’t reproducible either, thereafter. No haze is noted, but punctate sediment sits suspended throughout. Carbonation appears to be mildly moderate. The aroma is breathtaking. Notes of charred chocolate, coffee, and black malts, musky oak, heavy buttery diacetyls, fresh vanilla, cream cheese cake icing, Graham cracker crustiness and flaky croissant breadiness, black cherry and prune fruitiness, raw barley, chlorine, burnt coconut, aloe and creamy sunscreen chemicals, mild Magic Marker phenols, smoky rye whisky warmth, whole black peppercorns, and sweet molasses enliven the senses. The flavoring is much, much sweeter than expected at first, but holds onto this harsh and heavy booziness and smokiness on the back to offer supreme balance. Here, we experience heavily charred barley, clean and bittering chocolate and coffee grain, soured rye grainy grit, brassy metallics, acidic vinegar, hot and fusel bourbon ethanol kick, raisins and dried cherry fruitiness, clove and medicinal phenolic wash, brown sugar sweetness, fired oak, chalked ale yeastiness, campfire char, Concord grape sugars, light soapy hops, creamy vanilla pound cake, dried coconut flakiness, Elmer’s glue, bitter devil’s food cake, raw cacao nibs, and sarsaparilla fumes. The body is sufficiently full and chewy, and carbonation is medium, but remains soft as you work it around your mouth. Slurp and smack are as oily as ever, with the same effect subduing froth, cream, and foaminess. The mouth is slicked, warmed, and wrinkled of tannins, with intermittent twangs of puck and suck, while the lips are left to lick themselves clean of stickiness. The abv is appropriately large, and the beer sips well between the two of us.

Overall, this is an exceptional offering. What a few days it has been for us!! Yesterday we got to enjoy Firestone’s other coveted rarity, §ucaba, and less than twenty-four hours later, we have the supreme pleasure of tackling Parabola. This pairing has really helped put the landscape of barreling into perspective for us, and have, in part, reestablished where the bar should sit. From the moment you open the bottle the aroma is already settling into your nasal mucosa, even at a distance. It highlights some of the most authentic and warming oaky butters we’ve experienced to date, effectively setting the stage for a decidedly serious beer. With this in mind, the first sip takes you a bit by surprise. There is so much cloying sweetness to it. Thankfully, this is transient, and only serves to shock the palate before the real complexity of the flavor begins to settle in. The final blend is intensely bittering, with primary contributions from the deeply burnt malt bill, the wood, and the booze. It is simply succulent and wonderfully savory. If you are going to force us to complain about one thing, it would be the feel. It was by no means poor, but felt, at times, lacking in substance and creaminess compared to what you’d expect for the style, and for such a big beer. As we watch the next winter storm creep towards us on the radar, we are thankfully for such a beer to keep us warm through the evening. This beer should be on everyone’s list, if it isn’t already.

Photo of Mbragado
4.41/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chIAhawks89
4.77/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2012, incredible with age

Photo of WS_Transplant
4.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of RamboII
4.44/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of texaswhiplash
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,123 ratings.