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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,893 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,893
Reviews: 1,005
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,301
Gots: 2,673 | FT: 189
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: 4,893 | Reviews: 1,005 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hophead717
3.75/5  rDev -18.7%

Hophead717, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of chanokokoro
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage 22 oz. bottle fairly aggressively poured into Firestone Walker Proprietors Reserve snifters

Pours a viscous motor oil black with a one and a half finger tan head. Huge aroma of oak, bourbon, and roasted malt. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak with hints of chocolate joined by the dense flavor of black cherries, hints of plums, and rich fig. Finishes with bold espresso notes and roastiness and a comfortable alchohol warmth. Full bodied, smooth, and even a bit of creaminess. Incredibly complex and without a doubt one of the finest barrel aged Russian Imperial Stouts available.

chanokokoro, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark brown-black with a half-finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, dark fruits, vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, Bourbon, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with dark chocolate and roasted malts with vanilla and some dark fruits. Through the middle, the Bourbon and oak comes through with some toasted coconut and molasses. The finish is a mix of dark chocolate, molasses, tobacco, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, and dark fruit with a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with light carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit creamy with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Amazingly smooth for how big and bold the flavors are. The balance is really spot on and the Bourbon comes through really nicely.

ngeunit1, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of RyanGoodman
4.75/5  rDev +3%

RyanGoodman, Aug 11, 2012
Photo of mattparsons
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

mattparsons, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of zeledonia
4.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

zeledonia, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of chilly460
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

chilly460, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.75/5  rDev +3%

WorldWideStout, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of Beaver13
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Beaver13, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of amare
2/5  rDev -56.6%

amare, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of krazybartender
5/5  rDev +8.5%

krazybartender, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of tut2528
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

tut2528, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of LotsofLupulin
4.75/5  rDev +3%

LotsofLupulin, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of JazzIPA55
4.75/5  rDev +3%

JazzIPA55, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of skunk242
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

skunk242, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of ckobes
5/5  rDev +8.5%

ckobes, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of YumYumGumGum
1.5/5  rDev -67.5%

YumYumGumGum, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of MSEGUIN
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

MSEGUIN, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Geuzedad
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Geuzedad, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of masonkessinger
4.75/5  rDev +3%

masonkessinger, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of 3Hops
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

3Hops, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of gpawned
5/5  rDev +8.5%

gpawned, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of mfavoino
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

mfavoino, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Schmuckles
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Schmuckles, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of freyguy10
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

freyguy10, Aug 02, 2012
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,893 ratings.