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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,722 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,722
Reviews: 993
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,248
Gots: 2,616 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Parabola Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,722 | Reviews: 993 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reaper16
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, served into a Duvel glass

Pours a nice dark roasty black color. You know what this beer looks like. It looks dark. Lots of head, especially for a beer with age on it. It looks great. Not much to say.

What sets Parabola apart from its competition is balance. The aroma is so complex but so balanced: roast, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee bean, vanilla, dark caramel, bourbon, dark fruits, cherries. All of that is there in the aroma, but it all works together. It's got fantastic cohesion.

Same with the flavor. Things don't unfold in waves, really. Its more of an "all these flavors are happening all at once, singing as if in a chorus, making a joyful noise together" thing. Fantastically blended, these flavors. It's a very sweet beer, so keep that in mind. It's not Dark Lord sweet, but its close. What Parabola has over Dark Lord is that balance though. Phenomenal.

The mouthfeel is full but not super-sticky, not ultra-thick. It's pleasant. I have to say this, this is important: there is NO alcohol burn on this year-old bottle. None. This is so smooth, so drinkable, that it should be illegal in most states.

While I can conceive of a better-tasting imperial stout, It's hard to think of one that could be better-brewed than Parabola. Everything works together. Perfect harmony.

Reaper16, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of jbertsch
3.73/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage.

Wow, I can smell the booze as soon as I open the bottle.

Pitch black. A little half-finger head sticks around for a little while before fading.

Underneath its boozey aroma I get significant oak, vanilla, and chocolate.

It's flavor is a seedless meld of dark chocolate and French vanilla coffee. Bourbon soaked cherries come to mind. Alcohol is NOT hidden. Milk chocolate and hot booze sticks around on the finish.

Full bodied, a little syrupy, with a prickly finish.

Enjoyable, but not a breeze to drink. To be honest, i think the bourbon hurts this beer. It's a bit too hot for my personal tastes. There are other RISs that I enjoy more. So I was let down a Little. If I think of it as a beer, I'm not a huge fan. If I think of it as an after dinner cordial, I'm a fan. It has its place but you have to be in the mood. I just feel that the bourbon barrel aging added an unnecessary element to a beer that was probably perfect in the first place...and took some of its greatness away.

jbertsch, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of carbonhaze74
5/5  rDev +8.5%

carbonhaze74, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of benbjb
5/5  rDev +8.5%

benbjb, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of spy1981
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

spy1981, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of HoshuaJobbs
4.75/5  rDev +3%

HoshuaJobbs, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Graviz
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Graviz, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Massbmx
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Massbmx, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of N3ptune
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

N3ptune, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of xdtfx
4.75/5  rDev +3%

xdtfx, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of cleonile2000
4.75/5  rDev +3%

cleonile2000, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of bellywin
5/5  rDev +8.5%

bellywin, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of Goatshaver
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle

First impression is this is one dark beer with a nice light mocha colored head that just stays on there forever. Smells of dark roasted chocolate and malts with the bourbon and oak smells coming through. Wow...it just smells so smooth. Now to tasting it and even more wow! Coffee, chocolate and the oaked bourbon tastes hit immediately finishing with a deep chocolate taste with slight alcohol taste. This is a really smooth drinking beer...I don't find as much alcohol as some other barrel aged imperial stouts I've tried so its has a nice feel with low carbonation and a warming feel.

All in all easily my favorite barrel aged imperial stout I've had to date. This is such a treat and I look forward to getting my hand on another one. A++

Goatshaver, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of Kinephys
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Kinephys, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of duff247
4.75/5  rDev +3%

duff247, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of AlaskanYoung
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

AlaskanYoung, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of VeganUndead
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Chimay Chalice

Motor oil. As black and syrupy as 30 weight. The nose is all toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, with some spice. Definitely a sipper, probably good for your health to share the bottle but you won't want to. Absolutely delicious. People who call oil liquid gold clearly haven't had this. One of the best RISs I've ever had and one of my new favorite beers. Can't wait to open the other bottle in a couple years.

VeganUndead, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of MattMew
5/5  rDev +8.5%

MattMew, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of jmccrum
4.75/5  rDev +3%

jmccrum, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of Archemedies
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Archemedies, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of kendellmarie
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

kendellmarie, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of beenitty
4.75/5  rDev +3%

beenitty, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of pvequalsnrt
4.75/5  rDev +3%

pvequalsnrt, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of Liquoric3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Liquoric3, Sep 30, 2012
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,722 ratings.