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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,744 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,744
Reviews: 993
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,257
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Parabola Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,744 | Reviews: 993 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pearljam118
4.75/5  rDev +3%

pearljam118, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of carteravebrew
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

carteravebrew, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of ant880
4.75/5  rDev +3%

ant880, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of SonOfThor
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Oily pitch black pour, very viscous. Absolutely no light shining through this. Small tan head recedes into darkness, but that's totally expected for a 12.5% abv beverage such as this.

S - Wow! There are so many componentes to this aroma. I get cherry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, earthy hops, some leathery flavours, and big roasty character. This smells incredible!

T - I get the same components as in the aroma, but with some more sweetness. This is well balanced by bitterness from both the hops and the roasted malts. There are some definite vinous qualities here. This is a beautifully crafted work of art.

M - Huge mouthfeel on this beer. The creaminess of an oatmeal stout x10! What an amazingly rich beer. This is a beer in no need of pairing, it is a meal on it's own.

O - I'm sure this is the best imperial stout I've tasted, and it's very likely the best beer I've ever had. This blew my mind, I'm soooo glad I've got one more bomber. I'm going to give it a good old fashioned cellaring. I highly recommend this beer. If you see it, buy it! don't worry about the $14 price tag, it's totally worth it.

SonOfThor, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of ajramirez1
4.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Initial look is typical, nothing to exciting here. Smell was quite stromg w/the high abv. First taste when chilled was avg, got better with warmth asbit should. Better than avg imperial but was disappointed. The Abyss blows this out of the water. Tasty beer but nothing special. Sucaba is the best FW brrr ive had to date

ajramirez1, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of Cowcakes
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Cowcakes, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of jpbebeau
4.75/5  rDev +3%

jpbebeau, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Listers
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Listers, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of EzraAtom
4.75/5  rDev +3%

EzraAtom, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Beerevity
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glasses, half in mine, half in Dad's (Happy Fathers Day!). It's a beautiful black with a tan head that's gone before you know it. After one whiff I knew this was something special. I instantly picked up on sweet cherries that are nicely balanced by smokey oak and vanilla. Taste up front is of dark chocolate, bourbon, sweet raisin, dates and cherry. This gave way to the notes of burnt coffee, oats and roasted malt. I picked up on a bit of liquorice and several other flavors that my palate just couldn't identify. The bitterness and light carbonation in this stout is perfect. The brew felt thick and the booziness really warms is it goes down. Overall this beer is powerful, complex and excellent. I'll be aging another bottle to crack on a cold winter's day several years in the future.

Beerevity, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of agaloco9
5/5  rDev +8.5%

agaloco9, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of G-Hawk
5/5  rDev +8.5%

G-Hawk, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of rodkin
4.1/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 release.

Looks nice, big and dark, decent carb. One finger head that dissipates, leaves some decent lacing.

This smells great. Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, a bit of a dark fruity character, some barrel notes. Really nice.

Taste doesn't quite live up to the smell for me. You get all the same flavors, but the balance seems a bit off. Stronger bourbon up front, not as smooth and balanced as the nose would indicate. A bit more heat than I'd like, it's not unpleasant by any means but it kind of hurts the drinkability. It's a great beer with a lot going on, but I think it needs some age to mellow out a bit. I'd be curious to see how the '11 is drinking right now. This is probably more like a 4.25, but I'm docking it to a 4 because it disappointed me when compared to my memory.

Nice mouthfeel. Big and thick, decent carbonation but not overwhelming. Coats the mouth nicely.

A really nice beer, but this is not as good as I remember the '11 being. I definitely think it needs some time to mellow out. The bourbon is a little overpowering, adds a bit more heat than I'd like and hurts the drinkability. I'll be holding onto my other bottle for at least another year before I try this one again.

rodkin, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of johnnyboy76
4.75/5  rDev +3%

johnnyboy76, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a draft into a snifter at San Diego Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif., on June 15. About a finger of head when I got it. Color was black with tints of purple in it. Brown, coffee and caramel lacing. Good retention.

Smelled chocolate, caramel, chocolate milk and some light coffee malts. Also some dark fruit, maybe plum? Great smell.

Tasted a big dose of alcohol right away, mainly bourbon. That gave way to caramel, toffee, chocolate and light coffee.

Full body. Average carbonation. Creamy texture. Smooth finish. The feel was the best part of this beer by far. I wish I could have given this a 5.5. Just phenomenal. I kept craving another taste when I put the glass down.

I’ve been wanting to try this beer for awhile and it didn’t disappoint. Just a marvelous beer.

BucannonXC5, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Stumpy29er
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Stumpy29er, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of getinked
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

getinked, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of mjr2377
5/5  rDev +8.5%

mjr2377, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of USChuy
4.75/5  rDev +3%

USChuy, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of yamar68
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to open the base beer from my very first trade - thanks bpgpitt10! 2011 vintage (batch 002) poured from 22oz bomber to brandy snifter:

Pours an imposing pitch black with barely an edge of deep red clarity. A finger of medium brown head sinks down to a stubborn collar, a swirling island of tan retains in the center of the glass. Thin lacing and obvious alcohol legs.

Big, beautiful bourbon character strikes the nose. Milk chocolate and vanilla, boozy raisin bits, a touch of caramel, soft wood character - such a complex smelling beer. Incredible balance and depth.

Holy fuck this is tasty. That great bourbon profile bites the tongue immediately... the flavors exist in complete harmony with one another. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, heavy wood, cocoa nibs, dark burnt chocolate, a bit of dark fruit far and away. Divine.

I'm glad I finally grew the balls to crack this open. What a great beer.

yamar68, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
4.81/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 release:
Stats updated to be more reflective of this, the most current release

A: into a snifter, pitch black of outer space, dense head of dark foam

S: bourbon-soaked chocolate syrup with vanilla bean and black coffee

T: outrageously decadent, somehow another animal entirely than the previous releases - rich chocolate malts like syrup drenched in bourbon - had an almost merlot-like essence - hints of dark coffee roast and melted dark chocolate; hidden berries and dark fruits

M: supremely slick and smooth; dark silk; dense and full-bodied, but it plays light across the palate

O: incredible. Even more limited than previous years, but soooo worth it.

2012 release:
A: stout 101: pitch black with a tan head; this head was fairly creamy (like a milk stout)

S: chocolate malt, bourbon, some vanilla and espresso

T: dare I say this was a more balanced bourbon experience than drinking a BCBS - bourbon is there, so is chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and very little anise (which I kind of liked)

M: creamy, a little bitter abv sting, rich, full

O: this made me think of what Goose Island's BCBS line would be if they were RIS - it was a little smoother, less syrupy, more creamy, and well-balanced - on par for certain - and I imagine everyone will have their own preferences - I loved it and was glad to get a hold of this limited release.

Greywulfken, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Rau71
4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark midnight black. It has a rush of carbination that fizzles out fast and leaves no head. The smell I get is vanilla and a hint of bourbon. The taste follows suit, with a hint of chocolate thrown in to a great balanced and smooth taste. A little booze comes out in the aftertaste, but just a peak. This is a wonderful RIS, and I love how easy I can get it during the release.

Rau71, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of phishphorce
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

phishphorce, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of BeerNFixed
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

BeerNFixed, Jun 12, 2012
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,744 ratings.