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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,188 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,188
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,609
Gots: 2,858 | FT: 208
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: 5,188 | Reviews: 1,042
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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of AaronBurr
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ixodus
4.47/5  rDev -3%
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
4.62/5  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
4.47/5  rDev -3%
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.

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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%

Photo of Blargimus
4.59/5  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%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of PicoPapa
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Reserve Series 003, 2012 Vintage. Pours a rich black color with an inch of light brown head. Some lacing. Aromas of booze, vanilla, toffee, and light and sweet coffee. The taste is boozey vanilla up front followed by some toffee. Some hints of coffee, chocolate and sweetness. Alcohol burn finish. Thick, heavy mouthfeel. You can certainly taste the barrel aging. This is a great slow sipper with a bunch of flavor. Damn good and would like to try it with some age on it, but fresh is outstanding. I need to get more of this.

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of baseball1976
2.45/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Serving type was a 22oz bottle that I purchased 3 months ago, and was looking forward to breaking into it!

The appearance was great! Just what I love... jet black with a tan head. The anticipation was building!

Smell. typical hard american stout. Roasted malty goodness!

Taste... I should have known it was going to be bad when the two people that I let try it did not like it. But I went for a try anyway. All I tasted was warm butter mixed with vanilla. Not what I was expecting at all. Not sure which barrel this was aged in...probably a wine one, but it was not pleasing at all. Maybe I caught a bad bottle?

Mouthfeel was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall, not worth the price on this one.

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Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,188 ratings.