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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,124 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,124
Reviews: 1,031
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,554
Gots: 2,753 | FT: 191
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 (76) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,124 | Reviews: 1,031 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of VeganUndead
4.83/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Chimay Chalice

Motor oil. As black and syrupy as 30 weight. The nose is all toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, with some spice. Definitely a sipper, probably good for your health to share the bottle but you won't want to. Absolutely delicious. People who call oil liquid gold clearly haven't had this. One of the best RISs I've ever had and one of my new favorite beers. Can't wait to open the other bottle in a couple years.

Photo of MattMew
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of jmccrum
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Archemedies
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of kendellmarie
3.5/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of beenitty
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of pvequalsnrt
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Liquoric3
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of leviathan85
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of jokemon
4.62/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at Dukes Alehouse in crystal lake IL. I shared it with some friends as the beer is rare and expensive.

Pours a deep black like all other RIS of this style. You probably couldn't shine a spotlight through it. There was also minimal head in the pour, but there was some decent carbonation.

Smell is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Taste is also of ... surprise chocolate! I was a little worried it would be a chocolate bomb but it was actually balanced pretty nicely.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, on par with bourbon county stout .

Photo of RyanLigeia
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at McLaddens Irish Public House in Hampden, MA on 9/29/12.

Pitch black, completely opaque. No head which is expected with a 12.5% abv but there are a few small carb bubbles floating around the edges on top.

Smells heavily of bourbon, dark roasted coffee beans and some rich milk chocolate underneath. Just a hint of oak as well.

Taste is similar to smell but the coffee shines through a little more. Bourbon is still the most prominent but the oak flavor is much more noticeable here. A lot of booze in the finish, very warming. Also VERY sweet. Almost too sweet.

Mouthfeel is smooth, heavy, LOTS of alcohol warmth as it goes down. Low carbonation.

Overall this is a great stout! A little too sugary and the bourbon is kind of overpowering but those are my only complaints.

Photo of larryi86
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 2012, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a three finger mocha head.

S- Dark chocolate, oak, roasted malts, some coffee, some licorice.

T- Dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, charred oak, some tobacco, very rich.

M- Creamy, medium to full body, a kick of heat in the finish, but not too much heat.

O- A solid barrel aged worth the price. Bourbon is not overpowering. Hopefully next year it doesn't take so look to make it to Maryland.

Photo of sullenbee
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Gary79
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of woodjjacct
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of arash1000
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of fehrminator
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of ffOpusx
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Tilley4
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks toscreamforme for sending this brew my way...

My wife surprised me Saturday night with a surprise birthday party and I decided to splurge a little. I've been holding on to this for a special occasion and I'd say a surprise 40th birthday party fits the bill.

This glugged out beautifully into my CBS snifter... thick and black with a slow creamy mocha head... coats the glass with each swirl... perhaps a little ruby going on as well? Excellent looking...

First whiff sends a shot of bourbon and chocolate up my nose as the barrel makes itself evident early and often. Rich aromas of dark roasted coffee present as well as a slight anise aspect and perhaps something along the lines of raisins... very interesting ans unusual...

The sheer density and creaminess of this beer makes it a sipper almost immediately... Loaded with flavors of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and a healthy dose of licorice, this thing packs a punch as the flavors ride a thin ribbon of booze that carries it along very nicely. A delight to enjoy with friends by the bonfire on a chilly late September evening for sure...

A very well done brew by FW here...

Photo of Schwillis
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of MagillaGriller
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Titans77
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Bottle, No ageing.

Appearance - Pitch black pour with a finger of khaki head that dissipated pretty quickly. Some alcohol legs present with light carbonation shown ringing around at the top of the glass. B-e-a-utiful brew!

Smell - Dark, dank fruits with dark chocolate notes right upfront. Some alcohol notes present themselves along with slight coffee and licorice in the backdrop. Very appealing to nose.

Taste - WOW. It tastes just like it smells, but on another level. Dark fruits and dark chocolate are BIG. Coffee, licorice and even a slight tobacco taste in the background. The fact that no alcohol taste is present at 13% is just insane. What every Russian Imperial Stout wants to be, but only Parabola is.

Mouthfeel - Coats the mouth with a thick blanket of the best taste any Russian Imperial Stout can produce. Full bodied, very, very light carbonation, and a smooth finish that is just unrivaled. Very slight alcohol warm as it travels down the throat, which is still alarming at 13%. If they didn't give the numbers, and I wasn't feeling the effects after 22oz, I would estimate it to be an 8% abv brew. Quite the feat.

Overall - My current favorite beer. Period. World class doesn't even begin to describe it! The one Russian Imperial Stout that I haven't had, but was informed that it rivals it, and might even be better than it, is Cigar City's Marshal Zhukov RIS. Might have to give it a shot sometime. Until then, Parabola is as good as it get in the Stout category. If you can get it, buy two. One to drink fresh, one to age. My favorite stout, my favorite beer.


Photo of PancakeMcWaffles
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark hazy brown, brown head, head disappears fast, almost no lacing, leaves an oily film in the glass;

S: Strong malts, a lot of vanilla and bourbon aromas, chocolatey roasty aromas, a little bit of alcohol;

T: Starts sweet and malty, has a coffee flavour, hints of caramel, strong vanilla , only very little bourbon , chocolate, not much of a hop flavour, strong alcohol yet very well packaged , the "alcohol burn" in the finish is really smooth;

M: Really thick and creamy mouthfeel, quite low carbonation, very appealing;

O: Very nice RIS, very drinkable for the high alcohol, nice flavour composition, not too much bourbon, a very well balanced Barrel Aged RIS.

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,124 ratings.