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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,514
Reviews: 984
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,169
Gots: 2,555 | FT: 181
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: 4,514 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeledonia


4.43/5  rDev -3.9%

2012 vintage. Tasted 16 July 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep chocolatey brown color, not as dark as many big stouts. Reddish tones at the edges. Medium coffee-tan head, about 1 finger, with good retention and lacing.

Smell is very rich and sweet, with a tobacco layer, and a fruit layer with plums and candi sugar. Really rich, chocolate roasted malts.

Taste has a rich toffee-like flavor, kinda like candy sweetness. Slightly sugar, reminding me of hard sugar candy. Rich flavors, heavy on the chocolate, without the coffee or roasty bitterness. Finish is lasting, and I mostly taste the bourbon in it (but in a very good way). I'm impressed with how smoothly everything melds together, both here and in the smell.

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, chewy. Fairly low carbonation, but for a -bal stout, that's okay with me.

Tasty stuff. Very smooth, with excellent melding of the barrel and the beer. The richness of the barrel combines really well with the sweetness of the stout. Probably not the best barrel-aged stout that I've had, but definitely up there. Has the same sweet-rich barrel aromas and flavor that Abacus has, and it's interesting to encounter those same characteristics in a stout vs. a barleywine. And now that I'm thinking about it, where's the alcohol in this beer? It's going to my head, but I barely taste it.

08-10-2012 08:12:08 | More by zeledonia
Photo of chilly460


4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

A: Deep black with mahogany tones at the edges. Head is impressive, thick cap of espresso brown, tightly bubbled. Good retention.

S: Distinct bourbon up front, shifts gear to richer vanilla. Moves from the sweet side to dark chocolate, and roasty malts kick in. Very pungent, want to just sit and soak it in.

T: Quite sweet up front, vanilla is prominent, and sweeter rich molasses type flavor. The roastiness kicks in, like a perfect medium roast. Bourbon is muted for sure, but there. Leather or tobacco creeps in at times as well.

M: Light carbonation, medium to heavy body, nice.

O: Love the "vanilla" or butterscotch flavor that I get in F-W beers, didn't expect here but I got it. Not the "biggest" RIS I've had, but flavors are perfectly proportioned and blended.

08-09-2012 19:40:25 | More by chilly460
Photo of WorldWideStout


4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-09-2012 04:13:36 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of Beaver13


3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

22 oz bottle, 2012 version. Pours dark brown black with a small light brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is grainy dark chocolate malts with some lactose and dark fruits and some sharp alcohol.

The flavor is sweet grainy chocolate malts, dark fruits with some roast and quite a bit of vinous alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it reminds me of Old Viscosity. I remember this being better than this sample. It's in your face and not really well balanced. Too sweet and treacly at times, and the alcohol is too sharp for me. It's still a good beer though.

08-08-2012 05:39:02 | More by Beaver13
Photo of amare


2/5  rDev -56.6%

08-08-2012 03:31:16 | More by amare
Photo of krazybartender


5/5  rDev +8.5%

08-07-2012 20:27:26 | More by krazybartender
Photo of tut2528


4.75/5  rDev +3%

Batch 3

A: pour is lightly viscous, deep brown in color. Almost no head formation on this pour and minimal lacing. Little carbonation.

S: big sweet bourbon soaked raisins and other dark fruits are profound and there is an awesome touch of vanilla. A nice solid malt backbone holds this one together. Not all that complex, but extremely well balanced.

T: wow, this one is sweet delicious bomb. I pick up on the sweet brown sugar, alcohol soaked raisins, big bourbon and massive vanilla. Alcohol is more noticeable than in the nose, but I think it sits perfectly with all the other sweetening flavors. There is a very faint chocolate note and a mild hint of hops, thus increasing the complexity.

M: Full bodied, light burn of alcohol on the lips, and the light carbonation is perfect for this brew.

O: I find this one absolutely awesome. Everything is so well balanced in this one, but be warned that this is a sweet sugary bomb. The only knock on it may be the heat on this one. I find it appropriate for the massive sweetness in this brew.

08-07-2012 05:13:56 | More by tut2528
Photo of LotsofLupulin


4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-07-2012 00:41:27 | More by LotsofLupulin
Photo of JazzIPA55


4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-07-2012 00:28:15 | More by JazzIPA55
Photo of skunk242


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

08-04-2012 17:47:14 | More by skunk242
Photo of ckobes


5/5  rDev +8.5%

08-03-2012 19:09:35 | More by ckobes
Photo of YumYumGumGum


1.5/5  rDev -67.5%

08-03-2012 14:22:16 | More by YumYumGumGum
Photo of MSEGUIN


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-03-2012 02:16:16 | More by MSEGUIN
Photo of Geuzedad


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-02-2012 23:16:36 | More by Geuzedad
Photo of masonkessinger

District of Columbia

4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-02-2012 20:42:43 | More by masonkessinger
Photo of 3Hops


4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-02-2012 20:19:45 | More by 3Hops
Photo of gpawned


5/5  rDev +8.5%

08-02-2012 05:49:44 | More by gpawned
Photo of mfavoino


4.55/5  rDev -1.3%

Enjoyed on tap at the Parkway Tavern in Tacoma, WA.

Appearance: Super rich brown, almost black color with a rim of espresso head.

Smell: Distinctly bourbon barrel character, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts are all prominent. Intense scent that had a lot going on. All the aromas were easily distinguishable.

Taste: Initially sweet with chocolate and some brown sugar flavor. Roasted malts really come out with a wood flavor, and the bourbon is definitely noticeable, although not overwhelming. Vanilla and some tobacco too.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, pretty strong alcohol flavor, and light carbonation.

Overall: FW kills it again. This is the first time I've been able to try Parabola, and it has so much flavor that I was analyzing every sip. Can't wait to try the bottle I have after it gets a bit more age on it.

08-02-2012 04:27:36 | More by mfavoino
Photo of Schmuckles

Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +3%

08-02-2012 02:29:11 | More by Schmuckles
Photo of freyguy10

New York

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-02-2012 00:05:08 | More by freyguy10
Photo of HumanParaquat


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

08-01-2012 03:10:15 | More by HumanParaquat
Photo of Horbar

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

08-01-2012 02:25:20 | More by Horbar
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%

My 300th review. Poured into a 16 oz snifter, vintage 2012. Pours a slick pitch black, with a two inch dark tan head, that leaves wonderful scattered lace. Smell is vanilla, chocolate, expresso, bourbon, and some molasses extraordinary. Taste is lots of vanilla and expresso up front, with some smoke and bourbon towards the finish, really huge flavors and every sip is as intense as the first. Body is medium large, perfect amount of life for the style, dry as you would expect from the style, and very drinkable for a big beer, that should be savored sip after sip. I have 4 more of these and am so happy about it. This is one of the finest BA Imperial Stouts on the planet. Firestone does it once again!

08-01-2012 01:05:04 | More by SawDog505
Photo of chrisrose30


5/5  rDev +8.5%

07-31-2012 18:48:16 | More by chrisrose30
Photo of cfrances33


4.45/5  rDev -3.5%

2012 vintage on tap at High Street Grill in NJ and Varga Bar in Philly. Served in a snifter both occasions. Reviewed from 6/30/12 (High Street Grill) notes.

Pour: Pitch black with a finger of tan sticky head. Dissipates quickly.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate and tons of bourbon and vanilla. Some booze, but not much.

Taste: Wow. Chocolate and vanilla with a sweet bourbon warming. The bourbon is blended into the flavors of the beer perfectly. Some mocha espresso at the end, but not a ton.

Mouthfeel: Literally like silk going down. Little bit of warmth from the bourbon, but I actually like its presence because it reminds me that this 12.5% monster isn't playing around, and it supplements the flavors more than any other BB stout I've ever had. Presents a slight cloying at the end of the glass in the back of my throat that drives this down.

Overall: I love this beer. Probably my favorite BB stout, next to Black Note. Buy this no matter what if you have the money in your wallet. If not, go sell some scrap and come back before someone else buys it.

07-29-2012 21:42:57 | More by cfrances33
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,514 ratings.