1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ParabolaParabola

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,319 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,319
Reviews: 971
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,088
Gots: 2,459 | FT: 163
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 (72) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Parabola Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,319 | Reviews: 971 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SchuStar
SchuStar

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

05-16-2013 16:30:43 | More by SchuStar
Photo of DIPAFAN
DIPAFAN

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-16-2013 16:29:07 | More by DIPAFAN
Photo of Benjiehorn
Benjiehorn

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

05-16-2013 14:33:30 | More by Benjiehorn
Photo of OC_Beer_Fan
OC_Beer_Fan

California

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-16-2013 05:52:09 | More by OC_Beer_Fan
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark, near black cordovan brown with a cocoa colored finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a broken layer of microbubbles across the surface.

Smell - The bourbon aroma is there but subdued, mayhap even overshadowed by a deep fudge-like chocolate aroma. Light oak. Touches of coffee and vanilla.

Taste - Big, bold character in bourbon upfront and throughout, though strong layers of chocolate and roasted malt help to keep the heat in check. Prominent notes of vanilla and oak. Touches of tobacco and deep, dirty fudge on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with low carbonation. Considering all the factors, it shouldn't be this smooth and velvety, but it is, before it quickly thins out and dries in the finish.

Overall - I don't know if it's the mood I'm in, or if that strong stout factor has tipped the scales, but I like this considerably more than the Sucaba. While there's plenty of boozy character, it's not nearly that of Sucaba, or perhaps there's enough bold stout flavor to counteract the barrel-aged influence. Either way, this is pretty good. I've purchased a 2nd bottle for aging. If it's phenomenal 18-24 months from now, you better believe I'll be on here giving it praise!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 05:04:02 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of deekyn
deekyn

California

4/5  rDev -13.2%

05-16-2013 03:54:56 | More by deekyn
Photo of dvmin98
dvmin98

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -13.2%

05-16-2013 02:55:58 | More by dvmin98
Photo of JamLand
JamLand

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-16-2013 02:51:51 | More by JamLand
Photo of cmdmzmjm
cmdmzmjm

Illinois

4/5  rDev -13.2%

05-16-2013 02:01:32 | More by cmdmzmjm
Photo of MetalMountainMastiff
MetalMountainMastiff

California

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

22oz poured into a snifter.

A. Pitch black, no light comes through. Head receded to leave a tan lacing.

S. Bourbon up front ,oak, sweet. Chocolate, slight vanilla hints.

T. wow...amazing. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oatmeal. sweetness from the barrel. Traditional to be expected Bourbon aged notes but done to perfection. a little hot.

M. very smooth. silky/syrupy if those can go together. Coats your whole mouth. mediumly high carbonated.Oatmeal no doubt doing its job here.

O. Amazing, incredibly well blended and great flavor, one of the smoothest beers, so creamy and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 01:08:03 | More by MetalMountainMastiff
Photo of augustwest0823
augustwest0823

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +3%

05-16-2013 00:57:38 | More by augustwest0823
Photo of bbfc
bbfc

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-16-2013 00:14:01 | More by bbfc
Photo of jwk7324
jwk7324

California

5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-15-2013 18:22:45 | More by jwk7324
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-15-2013 02:34:26 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of Jazzpha
Jazzpha

District of Columbia

4.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Parabola. Wow.

Poured into a Tulip glass from a bottle, 2013 Vintage, on 5/14/2013.

A quick note: I had this bottle over two ‘rounds’. The first round was fresh out of the fridge after having spent a little over half a day chilling. The second ‘round’ was a few hours after that, after the bottle had come to room temperature. Each round accounted for roughly half the bottle.

Round 1, chilled.

Pour: Pitch-black, with a head that’s very thin, tan, almost non-existent. Faded quick to a thin ring, no lacing. Pour speed was a ‘glug-glug’ rhythm; thick, but not exactly absurdly viscous. Really thick, though. Beer is pitch-black in a tulip glass, as well.

Aroma: First smell that hits is sweet fruits, like plum or raisin. A more intense sweet, like a caramel or toffee, isn’t far behind. The two blend together after a little bit to create a sort of caramel-dipped plum/raisin effect. Also some faint coconut notes on the edges of the smell.

Taste/Mouth-feel: Thick, thick, and rich. Also thick. Immediate rush of the fruit from the nose, drenched in sweetness. But the sweetness is balanced out by the sharpness from the bourbon barrels, so it’s never cloying. Beautifully blended. Just a faint hint of booziness on the finish, but unbelievably smooth. No noticeable heat from the alcohol, which is mind-blowing for a 13% beer. Coats the mouth completely, but in a pleasant way. Never feels overwhelming. Whiskey and bourbon notes start to become more noticeable once the beer sinks into your taste-buds for the long haul. Overall the taste is just pleasant and mellow, with a chewy mouth-feel in the best of ways. The lack of heat persists throughout multiple sips, constant smoothness. Roasted, bourbon-y, toffee and plum flavors dominate consistently, but no one flavor ever hogs the spotlight for too long. Masterfully blended. Slight, slight faint hints of sweet almond begin to creep through on the edges of the taste as the beer begins to warm. Preposterously smooth for 13%. Puts KBS fresh to shame on that front.

Round 2, room temperature.

Pour: Second pour yielded a finger to a finger-and-a-half of nice tan head, which was a surprising change from the chilled pour. Not unexpected, though.

Aroma: Nose of plum/raisin/caramel hangs around even with the warming.

Taste: The tingle of booze on the end of sips is slightly more pronounced after the warmth, but it’s still completely unobtrusive overall. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but how this is 13% and Palo Santo from DFH is 12%, I’ll never know. FSW are blending wizards. Slight hint of butterscotch on the end following on the coattails of vanilla in the finish, which are both far more pronounced after warming than they were chilled. As for mouth-feel, the warmth doesn’t mess with the consistency at all. Still incredibly, lusciously thick and dense.

Final grade: 5/5. Parabola is incredible, and has permanently raised the bar by which I judge all other beers that set foot in the Stout category.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 02:14:38 | More by Jazzpha
Photo of GetTheYayo
GetTheYayo

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with dark mahogany hues and a light sienna head that quickly develops into a lasting ring. Generous but not clinging lacing. Bourbon, campfire, oak, dark cherry, vanilla, chocolate, toffee, alcohol, and the slightest whisper of maple present in the nose. Smell translates to taste perfectly. This is a big, thick, and heavy albeit silky smooth beer. A 13% monster that lives up to the hype. This one checks all the boxes.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 23:25:44 | More by GetTheYayo
Photo of phooky
phooky

New York

4.75/5  rDev +3%

05-14-2013 18:17:12 | More by phooky
Photo of Jordy777
Jordy777

Illinois

5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-14-2013 16:33:02 | More by Jordy777
Photo of salvy31
salvy31

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-14-2013 04:56:48 | More by salvy31
Photo of 4amepiphany
4amepiphany

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 side by side tasting with 2013

2012 aged very nicely, had more body and flavor complexities. Caramel, roast, bourbon Would love to taste how 2013 ages as it was a little lacking, but the the potential is totally there. A solid stout, either year. Thanks, Firestone.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 04:25:15 | More by 4amepiphany
Photo of AdamP
AdamP

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-14-2013 03:08:25 | More by AdamP
Photo of Fluteswell
Fluteswell

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +3%

05-14-2013 01:20:46 | More by Fluteswell
Photo of emottram
emottram

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

05-13-2013 21:18:28 | More by emottram
Photo of Absolut
Absolut

California

5/5  rDev +8.5%

05-13-2013 18:46:29 | More by Absolut
Photo of bennettj1087
bennettj1087

New York

3/5  rDev -34.9%

05-13-2013 15:07:28 | More by bennettj1087
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,319 ratings.