Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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4,991 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,991
Reviews: 1,007
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,344
Gots: 2,704 | FT: 188
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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Ratings: 4,991 | Reviews: 1,007 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aflies
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of The22Lou
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of resistdefy
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of clayton
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Ryan011235
4.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 11/18/11; split with PDXHops

2011 vintage

Many thanks to mschoefield for the chance to try this.

Dark, burnt brown. Nearly black. Not a thick head, but consistently wispy retention and a soapy collar remain. Some splotches and specks of lace, too.

Aromas of deep, roasted grains with tangy overtones. Airy booziness greets the nose, especially as it warms. Dark fruit notions. Hints of wood, char and mild sweetness. Earth and peanut butter. The flavors lean more toward charred and burnt tomes, much to my liking. Short, roasted chocolate; this is comfortably on the dry side. Molasses and an underlying graininess. Full, viscous, coating feel. Carbonation is very low, noticeable only on the back end. Warming finish with bold residuals. Barrel flavors are well-integrated and supportive, with wood notes emerging as it warms. Very smooth feel.

This is really nice. Its pretty hot and might do well to mellow a bit, but it's plenty enjoyable now. Recommended.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle shared with my sister and wife. Served at cellar temp

Pours black with a tan head. The head dissipates but a nice ring forms on the edge.

The nose is wonderful I can smell it very easily from the pour. Wonderful coffee vanilla a slight bourbon

The.taste is nice sweet with cocoa and coffee but a nice bourbon flavor. The bourbon is subtle but very nice everything is well balanced and the sweetness is cut by the alcohol.

Photo of t420o
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. From old notes

Fw parabola 2011

A- aggressive pour yields a 1 finger mocha colored head that rests atop a black body. Leaves decent lacing 4  

S- deep boibon smell upfront, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted fresh coffee, nutmeg, apple pie, a floral hop scent, ripe dark fruit like figs and dates. 4.5

T- taste follows the nose. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, roasted coffee, almost like a cinnamon taste and chocolate.  All the flavors play off each other so well. Perfectly balance and the barrel aging made this preety much a perfect imperial stout .  As it warms I get some of the wine barrel notes also. Its not hot but there is a some alcohol taste but it is quite lleasent in this oneThis is amazing. I wish I had more bottles.  

M- excellent moutfeel. Low carbonation which I tend to like in my stouts. Great feel. 4.5

O- a top notch imperial stout. Not the best but it's definitely worthy of the hype and ratings. I should have gotten more to age. 4.5


Photo of FishPondManager
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Channel10Geuze
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of Durb777
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BandFan
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of AlexChillton
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of vkv822
4.3/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. tulip snifter.

Pours black with a foamy light brown head.

Bourbon oak notes, with rich chocolate, light leathery dark fruit notes.

Very enjoyable blend of rich chocolate and bourbon notes.

Medium body with slight viscosity and low carbonation.

I really enjoyed this RIS. The bourbon and chocolate notes worked quite well together.

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

I have enjoyed Batch 1 and 2 in prior years, and finally get to do a review with Batch 3 (2012).

A: Black or really really really dark brown, half a finger of mocha tan, with lots and lots of lacing

S: Chocolate, Cofee, roasted malt, oak, vanilla (wow).

T: Similar to the smell, except there is quite a lot of bitterness at the end. I can also taste some dark fruits and brown sugar. Maybe it could be a tad bit less bitter and less sweeter for my liking, but regardless, this is a world class beer. * maybe my memory is just bad but, I don't remember Batch 1 and Batch 2 having this much coffee and chocolate taste. Bourbon also seems a bit milder on Batch 3. Maybe I'm just losing it. Batch 3 reminded a bit of Peche Mortel.

M: Near perfect. Thick and syrupy. I love how the beer coats my mouth. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end but not much.

O: I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer until now. This is easily my top 5 stouts I have ever had.

Photo of matzah
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of TwinLightTap
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of awdturboiv
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of larbush
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Ozzy2004Ironman
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of WertMaker
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of ucsbmullet
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of TheEarl
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a snifter at Brouwer’s “Back in Black” Stout Festival on May 11, 2012. I believe it was from a keg of the 2011 that Brouwer's had been saving.

Appearance: Jet black with a mid-brown head and fairly big bubbles.

Smell: Huge dark chocolate, vanilla, oak/wood, and bourbon notes with a general, but not unpleasant, whiff of vaporizing alcohol.

Taste: Sweetness is the most overt taste but, once I got accustomed to it, plum, coffee, raisin, chocolate, vanilla, and bread crust flavors come through.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, sticky, and somewhat alcohol tingly.

Overall: Parabola is probably my favorite stout of the moment. It manages to be the perfect balance of sweet and complex without being overwhelming. After having my first pour, I went out and purchased two bottles.

Photo of JustinQ
3.7/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 22 oz poured into Snifter

Appearence: Opaque black, no light can penetrate, decent head for style

Aroma: toffee, chocolate, vanilla and oak. slight alcohol and maltiness

Taste: roastiness, light oak background. alcohol aftertaste, no hops

Mouthfeel: dry, syrupy, and warming.

Overall: Great beer, Definantly a Sipper, Would buy another one but its a bit expensive. This one was a gift

Photo of denver10
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a thumbs width mocha head that quickly recedes, what remains sticks to the edges. Nice lacing. A sharp rich and woody aroma. roasted barley, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, coconut. The flavor blew me away, so good and so balanced. Woody, bourbon, roasted barley, milk chocolate, molasses, coconut, and a touch of coffeee. The flow of flavors into one another is ridiculously awesome. Noticeable, but the alcohol blends in quite well. A nice creamy and silky mouthfeel. Overall, yeah I loved this beer. So dangerous though, should be a sipper but so tasty and smooth that I just want to devour it!

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,991 ratings.