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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,607 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,607
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,208
Gots: 2,583 | FT: 186
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,607 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BMart
4.75/5  rDev +3%

BMart, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of FrankyLikesIt
5/5  rDev +8.5%

FrankyLikesIt, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of RohoMech
5/5  rDev +8.5%

RohoMech, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of aesopsgato
5/5  rDev +8.5%

aesopsgato, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Amdy
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Amdy, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of leprakhan
5/5  rDev +8.5%

leprakhan, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of ibbjamin
4.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottlling #1 2010. Bomber into a snifter to review in late 2011, so it is lightly aged.

Pours thick and black with an inch of dense dark tan head.

Aroma is strong, deep and malty. Roasted dark and chocolate malts dominate but there is some nice balance of dank hops in the mix as well. Dark cherries, oak wood, dark chocolate and leather add complexity. Bourbon comes through more as it warms.

Taste is quite dark and malty. Heavy but not too heavy on the roast, with lots of oak and dark chocolate. Good coffee and a welcomed booziness that is reasonably tame for the sheer size of this brew. That bourbon flavor is welcomed here in its modesty, a characteristic that is often too pronounced in these bourbon barrel aged stouts.

Very full body, extremely smooth and creamy. A pleasure to drink. Lasting dark malty finish.

This beer is drinking great right now and I'm not certain that cellaring it further would enhance it. Hats off to Firestone, another delicious dark and strong beer. Among the best I've had!

ibbjamin, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of GimmeGumballHead
5/5  rDev +8.5%

GimmeGumballHead, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of marieow
5/5  rDev +8.5%

marieow, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of lballstar
4/5  rDev -13.2%

lballstar, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of prefanrunner
5/5  rDev +8.5%

prefanrunner, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

2378GCGTG, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of penniwisdom
5/5  rDev +8.5%

penniwisdom, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of StoutFest
4/5  rDev -13.2%

StoutFest, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Destral
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Destral, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of shanghai55
5/5  rDev +8.5%

shanghai55, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +8.5%

bespin15, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of camil1mj
4.13/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Reviewed from notes.

A: Deep, dark brown. No light gets through. Sticky lacing present.

S: Lots of roasted chocolate with some bourbon notes as well in the smell.

T: Not as bourbon forward as expected. Lots of chocolate and roasted maltiness that finishes with a slight bourbon finish.

M: Thick and syrupy. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: A good BA stout. Not my favorite. I wish it was a little more bourbon forward.

camil1mj, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +8.5%

mhaugo, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of vasdef42
5/5  rDev +8.5%

vasdef42, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.03/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle to a snifter. 2011 vintage.

A: Dark dark black, almost opaque. When you sip, you can see a hint of reddish brown at the edges. Nice, surprisingly hefty dark tan head. Oh, and did I mention how thick this beer looks when it pours? I've had a fair few thick brews in my day, but this is one of the thickest pours I've seen in a while.

S: All the usual suspects are there: dark chocolate, roasted coffee notes, a bit of sweetness, more coffee, alcohol, and did I mention coffee? And alcohol. Kinda screams "hot mess". But there's something else there that I can't quite put my finger on. Hmmm...

T: Star anise, that's the mystery smell! And hot damn does it come out in the taste as well. I've never heard the term "licorice bomb", but this beer deserves it every bit as much as Stone's anise impy stout, although this beer does a better job of balancing it with other flavors, particularly a roastiness that almost reminds me of charcoal, along with the usual dark chocolate. Not much sweetness, though, which is fine by me-I prefer my stouts bitter rather than sweet. Still, I'd prefer it if the licorice wasn't quite so overpowering. Of course, the bourbon comes through as well, and here lies one of the strengths of this beer. It seems tough to get the bourbon to come through in a bold and distinct manner without overpowering the beer itself, but Firestone pulls it off well with this brew. Unfortunately, either from the bourbon or the high abv of this beer, the alcohol flavor is pretty strong as well. I actually like a light alcohol flavor more than most folks seem to, but this is a little much for me. Maybe some time will mellow it out a bit. Good thing I've got another bottle to age!

M: This is where this beer really shines. Just unbelievably thick and viscous. It coats the tongue well enough that you taste it for a while. Despite the generous head and nice lacing, the carbonation is barely noticeable, which works with the thick, creamy texture of the beer. This beer might have the best mouthfeel of any beer I've had excepting Caldera's Mowgli. Outstanding.

O: Maybe it's the hype, or the fact that I have such fond memories of the small sample I had a couple of years ago at the Portland International Beerfest, but this was a bit of a disappointment, though only a bit. It's still a great beer, but there are better beers out there that are both cheaper and easier to find.

eatabagofbooger, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Davelas
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Davelas, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of zdk001
5/5  rDev +8.5%

zdk001, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Jefe73
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Jefe73, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +8.5%

HopStoopid120, Dec 05, 2011
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,607 ratings.