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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,969 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,969
Reviews: 1,006
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,338
Gots: 2,691 | FT: 187
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,969 | Reviews: 1,006 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of freyguy10
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of HumanParaquat
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Horbar
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of SawDog505
4.93/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My 300th review. Poured into a 16 oz snifter, vintage 2012. Pours a slick pitch black, with a two inch dark tan head, that leaves wonderful scattered lace. Smell is vanilla, chocolate, expresso, bourbon, and some molasses extraordinary. Taste is lots of vanilla and expresso up front, with some smoke and bourbon towards the finish, really huge flavors and every sip is as intense as the first. Body is medium large, perfect amount of life for the style, dry as you would expect from the style, and very drinkable for a big beer, that should be savored sip after sip. I have 4 more of these and am so happy about it. This is one of the finest BA Imperial Stouts on the planet. Firestone does it once again!

Photo of chrisrose30
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of cfrances33
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage on tap at High Street Grill in NJ and Varga Bar in Philly. Served in a snifter both occasions. Reviewed from 6/30/12 (High Street Grill) notes.

Pour: Pitch black with a finger of tan sticky head. Dissipates quickly.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate and tons of bourbon and vanilla. Some booze, but not much.

Taste: Wow. Chocolate and vanilla with a sweet bourbon warming. The bourbon is blended into the flavors of the beer perfectly. Some mocha espresso at the end, but not a ton.

Mouthfeel: Literally like silk going down. Little bit of warmth from the bourbon, but I actually like its presence because it reminds me that this 12.5% monster isn't playing around, and it supplements the flavors more than any other BB stout I've ever had. Presents a slight cloying at the end of the glass in the back of my throat that drives this down.

Overall: I love this beer. Probably my favorite BB stout, next to Black Note. Buy this no matter what if you have the money in your wallet. If not, go sell some scrap and come back before someone else buys it.

Photo of rumorsofsurf
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Brown120
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of AaronBurr
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Czar_chasm
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ixodus
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep brown with lighter hues, small tan head that drops down to a slight foam ring. Moderate lacing is left behind.

S: Oak, Vanilla, Chocolate, Tobacco, Molasses, Toasted Coconut, Burnt/Roasted Malts, Figs, Plums, and mild alcohol esters. The aroma is complex and intoxicating. They need to make a parabola candle.

T: Sweet upfront and mildly bitter through the end. Rich dark chocolate and dark fruit, followed up with vanilla, wood, bourbon, and heavy roasted malts. Has some slight tobacco and leather characters in the background. Alcohol is present but in a way it actually complements the beer.

M: Heavy bodied, soft carbonation, smooth and creamy.

O: Overall a phenomenal beer and drinking so well fresh. I've had two out of the 6 I've purchased so far. Every time I go to the store I end up picking up another bottle and will continue to do so until the supply diminishes. I look forward to this beer every year and it did not disappoint. I'd recommend this beer to any RIS fan.

Photo of TheRealBigC
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Of all the beers I've ever tried, this one might have officially taken the crown as my favorite beer.

Served on tap at 775 Gastropub.

Deep brown body, thick mocha head with solid retention for an imperial.

Rich aromas of coffee, cocoa, tobacco and more. One of those beers where you want to get a huge sniff in before a sip, and you want all the sips you can get. All of that fragrance translates into the flavor and it's as robust as any imperial stout you'll ever have.

It's clearly a strong beer, but the strength of the flavor works in tandem with the strength of the alcohol like cognac. Every sip is enjoyable, the alcohol is never overwhelming, but it makes its presence well known on the palate and in your body. Take it nice and slow. It's a perfect beer.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter.

The beer pours black. Small mocha colored head filled with lots of bubbles.

Dark fruits popped out first, coconut, tobacco, vanilla, wood, roast, bourbon and alcohol.

Big dark fruit presence, licorice, dark chocolate, bitter, bit of sweetness , tobacco, roast, bourbon and alcohol in the finish.

Smooth and full bodied with some alcohol heat.

There is so much going on with the flavors and aromas it is mind boggling.

Photo of BWHD
4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker Parabola

Poured into a large, generic brandy snifter.

A: Pours a deep, chestnut brown. This brew is super dark brown and opaque at its heart, with a bit of chestnut brown peering through at its edges when held up to light. Some slight red and orange streaks appear as it is swirled. Slightly lighter in appearance and viscosity than I anticipated. An appetizing, creamy, and burnt-khaki colored head pours half a finger thick and recedes into a delicious looking ring around the glass that floats on top. Tiny and intricate lacing with decent retention for the style; better than anticipated for such a high ABV.

S: Delicious bourbon barrel wood and booziness hits first, followed by dark fruit. Classic barrel aged FW aroma (similar to the §ucaba). I love it! Nose then gives way to hints of a brown sugar sweetness. Inviting and intoxicating aroma.

T: Boozy dark fruit and creaminess. This brew has a bitterness, but it’s a hoppy one as opposed to a dark chocolate like some beers in this style possess. The taste of the brown sugar from the nose is there, but not as intense as the aroma would suggest. There is some detectable alcohol, especially in the finish as the beer warms, but the flavor ultimately belies this brew’s 12.5% ABV; it is pretty well balanced. My only qualm is with a noticeable acidity that cloys ever so slightly, leading to a slightly dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with decent carbonation; more carbonation than I expected from such an imposing beer. I expected a thicker, more viscous mouthfeel out of this one. Quite honestly, I think this is the only area where this beer could use improvement.

O: Absolutely solid. One of the best smelling beers I have come across so far. One whiff and you want to take a sip – and only a sip – because it is impressive looking and it smells like a bourbon bomb; you know it might knock you on your ass. It is delightfully drinkable without being overly sweet, or too decadent. Wonderful balance. I only wish it was ever so slightly thicker.

Photo of Pinche_Oso
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of climbeer07
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Jaldama
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Danieldebarr
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Jesstyr
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Blargimus
4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into snifter. 2012 edition.

Pours a very VERY dark brown. A bit of head forms, but dissipates quickly. Not as viscous-looking as I was expecting.

The nose is pure bourbon at first, followed by coconut and coffee. Very sweet and very enticing.

After the smell, I was expecting a bourbon bomb, but it's much less prevalent in the taste. All the smells are represented, but they're joined by caramel and roasted barley. The bottle says 82 IBU, but there's not much apparent bitterness, probably because of the intense sweetness. Divine.

Mouthfeel isn't particularly viscous, but it does coat the tongue very nicely. Certainly not a dry beer. All the tastes stick around long after the sip.

Three words: believe the hype.

Photo of mcphish22
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of n00blar
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of AaronPortland
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,969 ratings.