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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,058
Reviews: 1,020
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 2,444
Gots: 2,734 | FT: 192
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 (79) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,058 | Reviews: 1,020 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glitchedmind
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of beerMeh
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of bcostner1
4.88/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Going from the bottle into the glass, this beer actually appears to be a very deep, dark, rich garnet/ruby mahogany as opposed to the sheer pitch blackness you see in a lot of imperial stouts. Beautiful pour.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, dark rich fruits, malty sweetness. Intoxicating.

T: Blows me away. Absolutely, ridiculously delicious. The perfect melange of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, molasses, figs, dates, dark raisins, and malt all woven together by the woody undertones. Seriously, this is one of the best tasting beers I have ever had. I think I will probably pick up different nuances in this beer each time I have it. It's very complex.

M: Perfect. This stuff is silky smooth, rich, creamy and dangerously drinkable. Probably one of the smoothest brews I have ever had. If this is really 12.5% ABV, I really can't find it anywhere.

I can see now why this beer gets so much hype. It deserves every bit of it and more. It is phenomenally crafted and I am grateful to have finally been able to try it (and glad I have a few more). I would drink/buy this at every opportunity and recommend that anyone else who loves world class barrel aged stouts to do the same. Simply amazing.

Photo of switzer
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of InfernoBoss
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of freduardo
4.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Midnight black pour with two finger tan head. Nose of dark chocolate, cherries, rum, coffee, graham cracker, sandalwood, toffee, and bourbon. Flavor is similar, but there’s a good deal of plum, nougat, vanilla, leather, and tobacco as well. Mouthfeel is silky, and rich without being too thick. The finish is pretty balanced, and absurdly lengthy, but there is char, and a hint of bitter coffee grounds which I happen to think only adds to this big boy’s character. In the same league with The Abyss, but more complex, and even better.

"Ignore the comments on that it's too hot, it's perfect."

What Sirtomtom said!

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

2012 Parabola poured into a tulip.

A- pours a nice dark dark brown with a tan head that disapates

S- dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, candied fruit, molasses, and grain.

T- Dark chocolate milk, figs, molasses, carob, oak, heat from, alcohol candied plum, some grain, and vanilla.

M- silky creamy mouthfeel with beautiful lacing and subtle carbonation.

O- this beer blew me away. This was my first Parabola and now I know why people buy cases of it upon release. It has a lot of the same flavors I've seen in RIS's but is extremely well balanced and the mouthfeel is incredible. A+ brew!

Photo of DavyJones
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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

A- Dark brown, almost black. No head.

S- Not nearly as powerful as I was expecting. Subtle dark fruits, leather, oak, raisons, bourbon, red wine.

T- Oh yeah! Lots of chocolate, a little bourbon, some figs, dates, cherries, a tiny bit of coffee, alcohol almost non existent in flavor. near perfection. Just a touch bitter on the finish, but I feel this will mellow out with some time.

M- Syrupy at first but finishes with medium high carbonation, but it works.

O- Love the flavors on this beer, only complaint would be a little less bitter and a little less carb. This is being very nit picky.

Photo of nh2032
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of tsylee
2/5  rDev -56.6%

Photo of alexipa
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very black with a brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Vanilla and bourbon. This is exactly what I wanted to smell.

T: Holy vanilla! Wasn't expecting all that, but I love it. Fruity and just enough bourbon. I now know what a perfect stout tastes like.

M: Creamy and WAY too drinkable. Dangerous.

O: It hurts me to say this since I've had so many amazing beers, but this is the best beer I've ever had. At least for now.


Photo of millelacsmark
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of RandyV
4.67/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells of bourbon, molasses and maybe some chared wood greet the nose. Taste is bourbon/oak forward with the barrel aging dominating, in the best way possible. It is what you expect from this beer. In the background, there's some black/dark cherry and espresso, adding extra bittersweet to the profile.

This is a top notch beer from a top notch brewer. If I could make a beer like this, I'd be mighty proud.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, pitch black with a slight head. Smells lightly of bourbon with strong chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is much more bourbon forward, chocolately, smoked and roasted malt. The bourbon is nicely balanced with the imperial stout backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth, well carbonated and very drinkable. This goes down exceptionally easy for a 12.5% beer. Overall, this is excellent. Pick up several if you can.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a near perfect beer, and defnitely the best firestone brew ive had, including the anniversary blend. pours jet black, dense and mean, with a one inch mocha colored head that fades out after a few minutes. smells is incredible. tons of wood, vanilla, bourbon notes, wine tannons, fresh pipe tobacco, chocolatey malt. i could smell this beer for ages. the flavor is lovely, very rich. notes of oak, milk chocolate, burned sugar, and that pipe tobacco marry perfectly in the mouth for a long complex drinking experience. not sure ive had any stout this good. mouthfeel is right on. velvety smooth with all that body, mellow carbonation from the barrel time. overall this may be one of the best stouts out there, its absolutely fantastic, and worth every penny of the 15 bucks it cost. you must must try this

Photo of ttttrrrrtttt
4/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of gbrill
4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Mahlik
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter. 2012 vintage.

A- Pours a pitch black with a creamy mocha colored head. The head sticks around for a minute but dissipates to a thin ring around the glass. The body appears to be viscous; I wouldn't quite say motor oil but pretty damn close. Some spotty lacing hangs around.

S- I love what this beer brings to my nose. Notes of chocolate and cherries immediately become apparent. As the beer warms, the bourbon starts to come out. Vanilla and oak round out the aroma. I really am not picking out much coffee. The aroma is what a quality bourbon barrel aged RIS should smell like.

T- Everything really blends together well. Very similar to the nose. Chocolaty malts, vanilla, some oakiness and a touch of caramel. I detect dark fruits in the background. The bourbon makes its presence known, which does leave a slight burn on the tongue.

M- Surprisingly smooth, creamy and drinkable for a beer that's 12.5% ABV. Medium-thick body with light carbonation. My mouth is coated with every sip.

O- A fantastic beer. One of the better bourbon barrel aged stouts out there. This beer has a nice complexity mixed with solid drinkability. Definitely a must try. And since this beer isn't super rare, you shouldn't have much trouble getting your hands on a bottle.

Photo of JamDog
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark as night from a 22 oz bomber (2012) with the ABV and other vital characteristics of the beer noted on the label.
No penetration of light whatsoever through the beer.
An almost non-existent mocha colored head that disappeared before it could appear properly.
Characteristic Firestone Walker barrel-aged aroma; with bourbon, some sherry, rum soaked dried fruits, raisin, charred wood, charred dried coconut, cocoa notes. There is so much going on in the nose, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the notes. The aroma gets better with time.
In terms of taste, there is a slight sweetness upfront, followed by charred wood notes from a barrel and definite heat from the alcohol. Raisin, dried fruit, malts notes in the middle till the alcohol almost acts like a palate cleanser towards the finish. This is a very complex and a really "big" beer. Lots of flavors blend really well. Smooth, luscious, full-bodied mouthfeel.
One of the best barrel aged RIS in my opinion.
Age is definitely going to make this beer even better.
Highly recommended. Definitely has Firestone Walker barrel characteristics stamped all over it. Lives up to the hype.

Photo of Whimpers
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of dmsulli
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Rudy
4.75/5  rDev +3%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,058 ratings.