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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,778 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,778
Reviews: 995
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,274
Gots: 2,636 | FT: 183
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: 4,778 | Reviews: 995 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bum732
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Rich cake batter, chocolate with an undercurrent of oak and bourbon, bready and yeasty.

L: Thick black with a creamy tan head that dissipates slightly. Good lacing.

T: Very rich, bready malt with a prominent chocolate note. Medium low bitterness with some bourbon oak following closely. Some roastiness follows with slight alcohol burn. Finishes slightly dry.

M: Creamy body, alcohol slightly detectable.

Just an awesome beer, Firestone has this ability to balance every single component in a beer, this is no exception. One of the best bourbon oaked aged beers i've ever had.

bum732, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of Rinkor16
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 opened on 7/3/712 with a buddy.

A: Pitch black with a little head around the rim. Very little lacing.

S: Roasty malt. Chocolate and vanilla. No bourbon surprisingly...

T: Tons of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and roasted malt. Then a slight alcohol finish. A little bourbon in the background. Much less than I thought there would be. I expected a lot more bourbon... I'm not disappointed though.

M: Smooth. I think it's a little low on carbonation.

O: This is a great stout. I'm glad they produce a lot of it, it's very good. Definitely not my favorite stout, but it's up there for sure!

Rinkor16, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head. Faint spotty lacing. Aroma is lightly roasted malt and bourbon. Flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and oak/bourbon. Very nice. Alcohol is noticeable, but it is 13%. Finish is fairly smooth with no unpleasant lingering aftertaste. Medium to full body. A very good beer. But a sipper.

beergod1, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of Chugs13
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Chugs13, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of vr6corrado
4.75/5  rDev +3%

vr6corrado, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of thebornotaku
4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage poured in to a Widmer tulip glass.

A - Pours dark, impenetrable black with a small, chocolate-colored head. Minimal lacing.

S - Oddly enough, in addition to the normal range of aromas (chocolate, caramel, toffee, etc), I pick off the aroma of soy sauce.

T - The nose carries forward in to the taste, big time. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, coffee are all very prevalent. Minor notes of cherry, oak, and a tiny bit of alcohol. It certainly doesn't lead on that it's 12.5%. Amazingly complex and smooth, not excessively sweet but definitely a dessert beer.

M - Smooth and creamy without being oily. It's not excessively creamy which is nice. Low, but present carbonation aids the beer without being overbearing. A slight warming sensation as it goes down hints at the alcohol content.

O - Very complex and very refined. And this one hasn't even been aged! This beer is fantastic as-is and doesn't need to wait to be enjoyed. I do plan on saving a bottle for another year or two and seeing how it pans out. Overall this beer is a phenomenal barrel-aged offering from the kings of barrel-aged beers. Firestone definitely hit the nail on the head with this one.

thebornotaku, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of MyName
5/5  rDev +8.5%

MyName, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of bsimms
5/5  rDev +8.5%

bsimms, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of StubFaceJoe
5/5  rDev +8.5%

StubFaceJoe, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Barrel-aged
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Barrel-aged, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of BCross
4.75/5  rDev +3%

BCross, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of B33R501
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. Complex and delicious, huge beer, enjoyed this lazy hot and humid Sunday morning.

Midnight black, small chocolate head, low but enough carbonation to keep the beer flowing and drinkable. Aroma of chocolate, wood, lots of alcohol, very refined. The empty bottle aroma gets better, lots of butterscotch and vanilla.

Taste opens with big chocolate and very dark roast coffee that leads to very sweet dark cherry, lots of oak, wood. Barrel soaked rum, notes of brandy and red wine. The spirits effect of the barrel aging make this a most delicious treat, really doesn't try to hide the fact that this is loaded with alcohol, and I like that.

Another fantastic barrel aged beer. Easily makes the best of list, but it is getting hard to rank them all.

B33R501, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of RES
4.75/5  rDev +3%

RES, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of sleuthdog
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured into tulip

Appearence: Pours a dark brown to almost black in color with about a one finger size head. The head is of a light brown color that dissapates quickly to leave some real nice lacing behind.

Smell: The smell is of a rather simple bourbon and vanilla with a slight alcohol. I do pick up on some possible chocolate and a sweetness like molasses with some faint roasted character. It is a pretty sweet smelling beer.

Taste: Upon initial taste I get the bourbon and vanilla followed by some of the sweetness and some faint chocolate. On the swallow I do notice a light hop character that really seems to tone down the sweetness and prevents this from being overly sweet. I must mention that the alcohol is fairly well hidden but at the same time noticeable. I do get some very, very slight alcohol burn but in no way unpleasant. A rather simple tasting beer but one that for that reason is easily enjoyed!

Mouthfeel: This beer is surprisingly smooth. I was expecting this to be "hot" and not as creamy as it is. The carbonation is pleasing and the body very enjoyable too. It's silky smooth in my mouth and not too viscous but like I said befor very creamy and smooth. Excellent feel!

Overall: Just a very enjoyable experience with this one. Not overy complicated but a rather straight forward beer that is a sipping pleasure. I'm interested what some time would do to this but it is so good fresh I don't know if time would do this one good.

sleuthdog, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Onenote81
4.28/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012. Thanks to ferillo for sending me this bottle!

Poured into a chalice. This beer pours a tinge lighter than black. An inch worth of mocha head rests atop. Light lace left behind. The nose is sweet with vanilla, maple, gingerbread, chocolate, oak. The bourbon isn't as strong in the nose as I'd expected.

Moderate mouthfeel, with decent carbonation presence. Slight oily feel on the back end, but drinks nicely. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Again, the bourbon is underplayed, but its subtlety is what I like about this. Rounds out a nice roasted brew, giving a welcome sweet balance. I usually like to split my bombers with someone, but this one was a treat to drink on my own. Loved it.

Onenote81, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of Magery
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Magery, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of crobinso
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

crobinso, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of lern
4.75/5  rDev +3%

lern, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of throwback
4.75/5  rDev +3%

throwback, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of rkasten1
5/5  rDev +8.5%

rkasten1, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of Prospero
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2012 version on-tap and 2011 from a bottle tasted in 3/12 after some age, this review is for the on-tap as I found it more enjoyable.

Appearance is midnight black. If light passed through it, I didn't see it. Great 1-2 finger dark tan head that shows off it's barrel-aging.

The aroma is strong of oak, bourbon, some vanilla and nice roasted coffee. It just smells rich and complex.

The taste follows the aroma nicely as it tastes as rich as it smells. Lots of roasted coffee and chocolate flavors mixed with the oaky vanilla complexity that makes this a great savoring beer. I feel like I need a cigar to pair with this beer. Some bitterness, but not overwhelming, I feel like some age could smooth it out some. Some bourbon, but blended well with the malt bill.

In terms of mouthfell it's a rich, robust, full bodied beer. Medium to low carbonation, but still retains a smooth feel. It may be like motor oil to some, but delicious for me!

Have 3 bottles of 2012 I'm looking forward to aging to see if it balances out even more.

Prospero, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of mjaggers
4.75/5  rDev +3%

mjaggers, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of rawfish
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

rawfish, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of daves1186
5/5  rDev +8.5%

daves1186, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of st9647v3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

st9647v3, Jun 25, 2012
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,778 ratings.