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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,192 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,192
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,619
Gots: 2,870 | FT: 205
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]
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,192 | Reviews: 1,045
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4.64/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black licorice, anise, and cocoa scents immediately greet your nose. Opaque black body capped with a thin tan head. Chocolate and carob aroma becomes more pronounced after a few minutes. Heavy-bodied, sugary sweet, thick and chewey mouthfeel. Taste reinforces the chocolate aromas; coffee and espresso notes; nice combination of hop bitterness and alcohol glow in the finish.

An incredible imperial stout: rich, flavorful, balanced and complex. The Firestone brewers have created a monster imperial stout, bringing out various malt and grain flavorings while taming the fairly high ABV. I hope to find some more bottles of this beautiful beast...

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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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.

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4/5  rDev -13.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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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.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,192 ratings.