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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,058
Reviews: 1,020
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,444
Gots: 2,734 | FT: 192
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:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008

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]
View: Beers (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Parabola Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,058 | Reviews: 1,020 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChicagoShoop
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of anabar
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of seplo
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of hlatimer266
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of KevinR9
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Settles into the glass with a black body and a bubbly tan head. As the beer settles, some carbonation bubbles cling to the sides of the glass, along with a frothy tan ring around the edges.

S- Big roasty malts, burnt sugar, caramel, chocolate, hints of coffee, some vanilla,

T- Big roasty malts give way to sweet vanilla, caramel, burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, notes of tobacco. Lingering aftertaste is simply amazing, with the roasted malts playing off of the flavors mentioned above.

M- Perfectly carbonated, smooth and a sipper, body is big and lingers in the mouth for some time.

O- Just a great beer. Flavors are amazing and the way they all mend together is incredible. Just an amazingly refined beer.

Photo of whatname
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of brbrocc
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of sToTko
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of GaryMarkle84
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of gator79
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of averagejake872
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of itsthepleats
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jondeelee
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Parabola opens to a rich black coffee and heavy cream aroma, tinged with tobacco and ash, fig, prune, raisin, hazelnut, toasted pecan, vanilla, milk chocolate, and caramel, with a distinct Bailey’s Irish Crème and Ferrero Rocher overtone. The heavy barrel aging hasn’t so much imparted whiskey or bourbon notes as it has amplified the natural vanilla and smoky cream aromas, imparting distinct creamed coffee liqueur notes, as well as subtle oak tones, and when combined with the dark fruit esters, the barrel aging lends the beer a port/raisin wine edge. After sitting for a few minutes, the darker flavors seem to part, revealing a sweet, sugary layer of cherries, berries, and mandarin oranges. These are joined by pink grapefruits, lemon, and hints of pine from the hops. As a whole, this is a fantastic aroma: finely nuanced, potent, varied, and swaying delicately and dreamily between bitter and sweet, ashy and creamy, and easily one of the more unique and tantalizing Imperial Stout aromas on the market.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a huge shot of dark fruit esters, including fig, raisin, prune, plum, and black cherry, joined by molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. After a second or so a wave of heavily-creamed espresso shoots in, joined by fine tobacco and delicious ash. Huge vanillas and subtle oak notes follow, bringing about the port/raisin wine edge noted in the nose. Hold the beer on the tongue long enough and the sugars will die off slightly, revealing a grapefruit, lemon, and pine resin undercurrent. There is a slightly strong bourbon-like alcoholic burn about the edges due to the 12.5% ABV and the barrel aging, but this mostly blends well with the fruits and ashes to form a liqueur taste. Subsequent sips reveal deeper layers of milk chocolate, toasted pecan, and hazelnut, and the Irish Crème/Ferrero Rocher comparison rears its beautiful head once again. The aftertaste is a lovely blend of heavily-creamed coffee, milk chocolate and hazelnut, ash, and light pine resin, almost making this seem like a dessert beer instead of an Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is a silky, oily medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium-light to medium.

Overall, this is fantastic beer, and while it may not feature traditional, or even expected Imperial Stout flavors up front, I doubt many drinkers will care. The care and craft that went into this beer is palpable and commendable, and the layers of flavor would be more believable if present in the kind of coffee-and-ice-cream-and-brownie-liqueur desserts found in restaurants whose bills leave average people gasping. This is a definite must-try.

Photo of jokely
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of HopsJunkiedotcom
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of JayCin
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of mklisz
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Samichlaus82
3.62/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with a finger-width, creamy, dark brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves lots of lacing throughout. Aroma is big, rich, smooth chocolates and caramels with a nice, roast and mocha backing. The bourbon and oak provides a solid addition without over-powering the big malt backing. Touches of vanilla, raisins, and a light alcohol hint. Flavor is similar. Rich, bittersweet dark chocolates up front with a good amount of roasts and caramel. The oak comes on with a lighter bourbon note as well as touches of vanilla, raisin, and licorice. Mocha, tobacco, and a bit more bourbon grows towards the end as this finishes rich, roasty, slightly ashy, and sweet with a nice bourbon warmth and dry oakiness. Lengthy aftertaste following a very smooth, mouth coating, full body and a soft, light carbonation. Overall, a very big, bold, rich, well balanced imperial stout with a solid barrel aged character. Not the most complex, but such a nice body and really enjoyable all-around.

Photo of blindpiggie
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of mattdbh
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of joshwith
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of MrRockstar
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mpetersen
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of LiquidDegenerate
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,058 ratings.