Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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ParabolaParabola

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,489 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,489
Reviews: 1,096
rAvg: 4.62
pDev: 8.01%
Wants: 2,762
Gots: 3,157 | FT: 243
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.

2011
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 (84) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,489 | Reviews: 1,096
Photo of baybassboy
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at a tasting/bottle-share with a couple friends into my Stone Specialty Tating glass on 6/18/11. 2011 Vintage

A: Black. Pours, excuse the phrase, black as night. Extremely viscous coming out of the bottle and into the glass. There is a medium-small mocha head, maybe just under a finger. Great lacing, especially for a barrel aged beer. Obvious alcohol legs on swirl. I knew this was going to be a winner when the beer settled and a Happy Face appeared in the head

S: To put it simply, I will quote my friend who was at this tasting, "I want to make cologne of this!" Ya, it smells that amazing. The first thing that hits me is roast, followed by lots of chocolate and vanilla. I can also pick up some welcome oaky aromas. Can smell a light bit of alcohol, but it is the amount that seems to draw you in for more instead of forcing you away.

T: The first sip was amazing... i just wantd to savor it and not think of anything. Again, the roastiness is what hit me hard upfront, followed again by that chocolate vanilla mix. I know this fits more into mouthfeel, but it actually tastes velvety smooth. Has a great richness that is balanced from the barrel aging, and a good, medium alcohol burn that seems to only further enhance the overall tastes.

M: This is one viscous beer. It coats the mouth well, but not to the point that I would describe it as chewey. There is a great light carbonation. More than I would expect after aging. Again... velvety smooth.

O: I flat out LOVE THIS BEER. There is honestly not much else to say. I was afraid of it being overly complex and tough to decipher after reading some other reviews, but it was balanced near perfectly. To be honest, the only fault I can find with this beer is that it almost smells better than it tastes. Don't get me wrong, it tastes amazing, but if i had to put a number on both, I would put Smell at 98 and Taste at 96. I can't wait to open my next bottle, which I'm sure will be sooner than I had anticipated before tasting this one.

Photo of oregone
4.03/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (2011) into NB globe at cellar temp (55F):
A: Very nice.Dark brew, nearly black with only a little light showing through the edges when held up. Light brown head, about a fingers worth rises from a mildly gentle pour and settles back to persistent lacing.
S: Fudge and booze (bourbon. Some hot caramel and vanilla oak smells but definitly bourbon and chocolate dominant. Smells very good.
T: Chocolate and bourbon again dominant. Caramel, some dark bread flavors and licorice come in to play. Licorice and oak dominate the finish with some alcohol becoming apparent.
M: Rich, thick, smooth through the majority with some bite after it settles in a handful of seconds later. Some slightly apparent wood tannin on the finish and the alcohol spice again finds it's way in, but not incredibly strongly.
O: Very good but wish I'd set this aside much longer. Tried a few ounce sample of '10 and it had melded into something much richer and smoother. This was very good, but it lacks the harmony that settling for a year or more will bring. Definitly something I'm happy to wait on though quite good now.
This is better than my review would lead me to believe. However, all the components are in place for this to be a monster of a brew, devastatingly complex and delicious, with some time. Give it time.

Photo of DCon
4.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO for $7. This was served during the Parabola event which was a huge success! Tapped from the Parabola Tap Handle into a 12oz Snifter glass and enjoyed over a good period of time.

Aroma- Starts off with a huge bourbon and vanilla aroma. Tons of roasted malts used, a hint of espresso, and strong. Perfect for the style! No flaws at all.

Appearance- Received with 1 finger of bubbly and dark brown head. It has an extremely dark brown body (almost black but can see brown in the light), Opaque, and lace is left all across the sides.

Flavor- Has an aged bourbon whiskey start and almost an oaken barrel of chocolate mousse. The finish has a warm feeling and notes of Merlot. Very rich, nice malts used (once again), and complexed beyond belief! Could grab more attributes but enjoyed too much to think about all of them.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Thick as Motor Oil, Chewy, and actually leaves Spice behind on the palate with a hint of bourbon. Not sure what to think of this!

Overall Impression- Intense! This guy has some serious complexity and one of my favorite beers of the month! I bought 2 bottles of this from Lukas Liquor and am going to see how they age. Could/Would only want to enjoy one of these because of how strong it is. Had a nice buzz going after this beer. Will be promoting this beer!

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.5/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours black as night motor oil. A finger of dark espresso crema colored head. The head recedes into a thin ring of tight bubbles. Dead sexy.

S- the aroma on this puppy is rediciously complex. Starts out with big fresh brewed espresso and decadent dark chocolate truffles. Perfectly intergrated oak barrels shine with notes of vanilla, caramel and aromatic high end bourbon. Finishs with pungent dark juicy cherries and warming heady booze. Only gets better and and more aromatic as it warms.

T- the flavor in this is just as rediculous as the aroma. Dark chocolate with cocoa notes begin the flavor. Italian coffee flavors with an espresso bean character. Big bourbon and soft oak flavors intertwine with notes of vanilla and a semi sweet caramel. Warming big but pleasent alcohol boosts the previous flavors instead of detering them. Finishs with a bittersweetness and a rich round bourbon aftertaste.

MF- rich full creamy mouthfeel that brings to mind gourmet hot cocoa. Full body with a soft low carbonation.

D- incredibly drinkable for the intensity of the beer. Smooth and Lucious.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A present from my awesome wife for Fathers Day...

2011 vintage

Poured from a bomber into an AleSmith Brewing imperial pint glass...

A - Pours black with a one finger brown head on a fairly passive pour. There is a good amount of head retention, but there is next to no lace to be had...

S - Coffee, chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and a good dose of bourbon. Smells a little hot, but still inviting...

T - Dark chocolate and coffee are the most prominate flavors up front. Vanilla is present along with some sweet caramel, and oak. Smooth bourbon comes through in the finish with some lingering valilla. For a 12.5 percenter this one is exceptionally smooth and balanced. Delicious...

M - Nice and creamy, with an above average amount of carbonation for the style. This one rides the line between being full/medium bodied...

O - Ridiculously drinkable considering the abv. The hype for this one was high, and it lived up to the praise. Firestone impresses again with another top notch brew...

Cheers...

Photo of codynevels
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bomber Poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru Tulip
Reviewed from Notes
#5
Edit: 2011 Vintage

This beer pours a thick fully opaque black with a thin brown head, which faded quickly and left minimal lacing. The bottle label describes this beer a “Midnight Black”, which is accurate. The aroma is lot of chocolate and bourbon in the initial smell with dark chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla, and raisins becoming more present as the beer warm close to room temperature. The taste to me seems vanilla, oak, chocolate, deep roasted malt, and toffee. This beer feels velvety with almost no alcohol heat. It drinks like a fine wine.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Very much lived up to the hype for me.

Photo of marqoid
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Bruery tulip

A: Black as night with a thin dark brown head, low carbonation
S: Roasted malts, sweetness, and bourbon
T: Chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, and a winey background favor that is really interesting at the end
M: Thinner than expected, but very pleasant. low carbonation
O: Excellent, there is a lot going on here and you can really pull out the individual flavors that come from the variety of barrels used. Drinks very easily for ~13%.

Photo of bbkd3b
5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After the Abacus, I immediately added this to my wish list for brews. Luckily, there were quite a few to be found in Columbia, though my frequented stores ran out rather rapidly. Still, I got a hold regardless, and let's see what this is all about:

The near-black body gives away this beer's nature immediately. A tan head swirls to life, but pulls away very slowly, leaving only a ring around the edges of the brew. I don't even need to lean in to get my first impressions - the smell hit me from a mile away. Regardless, the chocolate notes are unreal, along with a nice mixture of robust, roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and just the slightest bitterness. Surreal, potent, powerful - these are what a beer should be.

Sipping it reveals the best this beer really is. First impressions are like drinking a mocha beverage. Clean, smooth, almost like a dessert in a glass! As the thick body warmed, it's harsher side slowly came to be. The bitterness started to attack the tongue, reminding you that this is a wholly American-style Imperial stout. Notes of coffee and vanilla formed at the front of the tongue. What amazes me is that there was absolutely no trace of alcohol to be found here. Astonishing brew.

Overall/notes - I didn't think it possible, but Firestone Walker topped Abacus on this one. It's like perfection bottled. I never thought I'd live to see the day I tasted what I feel is a perfect brew. This will forever be on my watch list. I just need to get some dark chocolate along for the ride next time I can find it. Seek this out and savor it. A true sipper.

Photo of brotherloco
4.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber. 2011 Edition (No. 002). 12.5% ABV

Poured into tulip.

Color is absolute opaque black with an initial finger of light mocha foam, settles to a small ring. Very small amounts of lacing.

Aromas include coffee and chocolate, boozy port wine. The oaky/vanilla/wood notes are there, but are relatively subtle. A small sting of alcohol at the end of the draw. A lighter aroma than I was expecting, but it does improve as it warms.

Taste is initially super delicious, sweet chocolate malt with a quick to appear roasty bitterness. Again, the barrel presence is there, but it is restrained in a very good way. Melting vanilla-chocolate swirl ice cream middle. The booziness really emerges in the finish. It doesn't kill the experience by any means, but I like it less than the start of the flavor. Seems like a perfect candidate for the cellar (no surprise given the ABV).

Absolutely love the mouthfeel of this one. Soft and silky, but not overly cloying. Medium to slightly-full bodied with very appropriate medium-light carbonation for the style.

I could mention a bbal-aged stout that I like better than this, but it really is a great beer.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from one of my frequent trips to Westchester. Poured into a Duvel Glass

A) Nice pour into the glass, no lacing of note.

S)Bourbon and Vanilla. One of the most unique beers that I have had regarding the smell. See below for the taste.

T) Dark Chocolate and then some, throw in some licorice as well. Prunes, figs vanilla, some mild coffee notes. Wow!

M) No carbonation. just a little hot.

O) Lives upto the hype!

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2011 vintage, and this is a quite a unique and tasty beer that meet my expectations from what I've heard and read about this beer before.

A: Jet black body with pretty good legs and some lacing, but not much. A nice tan head dies down rather quickly.

S: Smell has lots of charred malt and some savory bacon/rauch like notes which is interesting and intriguing. Charred oak, chocolate, vanilla bean, dark fruits, and a little bit of bourbon like a cherry on top rather than being a forerunner like BCBS or other like beers. Not too much heat and a nice compact full aroma.

T: Follows the smell with a huge peaty malt and smoke base to it which is again unique and unexpected, very nice. Fudge, some bourbon but not too much (a nice subtle addition), Charred black malt, berries, a little bit of alcohol but not nearly what I expected at 13%, bacon again , and even some nutty maybe chestnut like flavors. A very complex and unique bourbon aged stout both in that the bourbon is much more subtle and elegant than normal and the huge smoke flavors with a bittersweet chocolate back.

M: Very nice smoked burnt feel thats still dripping with flavor and a nice bitter dry yet flavorful lingering finish. Just the slightest bit of heat thats really hardly there. Nice thick feel.

Overall a nice beer that deserves good revues and stands out from the pack of most beers in this style. Excellent.

Photo of Klym
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Night cap in another session with Cavery. Review from notes. 2011 Parabola. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Black with no light penetration whatsoever besides a brown ring around the top. An initially generous head for an RIS, composed entirely of larger tan bubbles. Head dies quickly.

S: Terriyaki, baked seitan, chocolate, and hickory all in the nose. Sniffing with any extra intensity will likely get some alcohol burn in the nose, warning me right off it was likely going to be a little hot.

T: Brown sugar, bourbon, and a little roast hit on the initial taste, followed by a wave of creamy, melted chocolate that transitions into crem brulee with an emphasis on the burnt sugar. After the flavors mostly disappear your mouth feel and lingering taste is much like a while after you've had an awfully good piece of chocolate-- a little bitter, a little sweet, and even a little salty. Alcohol is a little too evident in the initial and middle taste, making aging seem promising. Overall, very nice flavors that like most RIS evolve with slight temperature changes.

M: Loved the mouthfeel on this, but it being just a nudge on the watery side in the mouthfeel kept me from giving it a 5.0. Carbonation and all else were excellent.

O: A really excellent RIS that blends its smokey and bitter notes better than perhaps any other RIS I've had. Some aging to tone down the hotness could perhaps make this my favorite RIS. Definitely a must if you have any love for RIS.

Photo of Cavery
4.42/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml 2011 vintage shared with Klym as a saturday night cap. Enjoyed in an oversized wine glass.

A: Black that slowly gives into a deep brown coffee rim. Looks as it should with deep brown bubbles. Looks like a fine dark chocolate dessert with the bubbles resembling fine dark chocolate shavings. Tons of small formed bubbles. Caviar in the glass. One finger head with a violent end pour (wasn't the soberest hand, I won't lie).

S: Strong chocolate almond milk laced with high quality vanilla. There is a sauciness to it that is suggestive of hazelnut butter with an alcohol finish that makes me think sherry. Amazing woody finish to complete a complex nose.

T: A soft and subtle introduction of woodiness. Middle is a deep dark chocolate covered wild raspberry, truly decadent. The nuttiness of the wood cuts through the bitter chocolate. This beer has very solid flavor transitions, a real thinker. There is a hidden spicy quality that sings of shaved chocolate, cocoa nibs, and flash torched brown/cane sugars. A buffet of dark digestives.

M: Light prickling carbonation dances around bitter chocolate in such a way that you believe you have something fancy in your mouth. A winner of a mouth, like a dark chocolate cotton candy that tingles as it goes. A truly wonderful sequence of slow evaporation. A wonderful fit to the medium-heavy body.

O: Worth the excitement, this beer has some real cascading flavors. I highly recommend sitting with this beer a bit colder, and letting it go its full flavor spectrum even beyond recommended serving temp. It remains a dessert beer throughout, featuring truly deep chocolates with a fancy alcohol pairing. Many in the style come off savory, even starting out in the realm of salty meats; but I would emphatically say that this beer came off as dessert even when a bit cold. The rolling flavors fought for my attention, and I tried to quell their excitement so that they all could be heard, "One at a time, not all at once!". This is a deep brew. It's like the first time you watch Mulholland Drive: You don't know what just happened, but you know that it was good. Would drink again, tomorrow or years later. Hold on to a few for yearly celebrations.

Photo of BigB415
4.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After waiting a month I was finally able to get my hands on 2 of these and the wait was worth it.

A: Pitch black with brown head. Heavy lacing.

S: Smells of bourbon and chocolate.

T: Tastes of bourbon, chocolate and fruit like plums and cherries. Alcohol burn too that lingers as you lick your lips and get more chocolate.

MF: The bourbon and chocolate notes linger on your palate and makes you want more which I wouldn't mind until the bottle is empty.

This is a great limited release stout. Even though it's aged in bourbon barrels it's very forward on the nose but very subtle on the palate. With some age on this the bourbon will probably be gone and the chocolate will be more pronounced but I will have to find that out myself.

Photo of russwbeck
4.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage.

A: Very dark black pour with about a pinky of light brown head. Not a lot of retention and minimal lacing here.

S: Bourbon, oak, and vanilla noticed first and foremost. A bit of roastiness and other characteristics of a stout. Not a lot of the booze noted at all. The smell seems to be right on par with the other good Bourbon Barrel aged stouts.

T: The taste is everything I hoped it would be. Big bourbon and vanilla flavor, aided by some chocolate and hints of coffe, starts it off with some warming booziness following. This RIS has been aged on so many barrels I can't say much of a stout flavor remains, but the coffee finish is really very good. If only it retained some original hoppiness or stout flavors, this would be one of the best beers crafted today.

MF: Velvety smooth; creamy, and thick body. Plenty of carbonation and a flavor that keeps you coming back for more. The 13% ABV is essentially non-existant, which for a beer this good is nothing short of dangerous.

O: This was $15 per bomber and really hard to get. Every place I found it they had one case and was hidden in the back. Considering the amount of work Firestone Walker puts into this beer, I'm quite happy to taste the result. They really must know what they're doing. Probably the best barrel aged RIS I've had, but I'll review it below Kate the Great simply because Kate has a better RIS taste without the Bourbon, this is good, but I'm missing the stout characteristics mainly. Truly lives up to the hype.

2012 Vintage

A Black pour with a finger of dark brown head. The retention is great, lacing could be better. 4.5

S Big hit of bourbon with equally large dark fruits, molasses with an impressive chocolate body. Just a huge smell that is unlike any we've had so far. 5

T My word I forgot how good this beer was. Beautifully integrated bourbon, chocolate, roast, and molasses. The bourbon and chocolate is just outstanding. This is one of the best bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts on the market. 5

MF Thick, heavy body with a low carbonation. Hits of alcohol throughout. The drinkability is high because it's so delicious. 4.5

Pairing: This smokey cheese was actually quite good. It paired perfectly with the bourbon in the beer. Sweet, smokey,l cheese with wheat bread and this stout is very good. 5

O The highlight of the night. Delicious in every way. Balanced, delicious, and paired well. 4.5

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011, poured into a large snifter.

A nice solid simple light brown, creamy head given to dark walnut black body. Nice whisps on the top of the drink with a good sheen. Some small leg action that's about it. Not much more I could say but it looks very impressive.

Bouquet is a one trick pony. But it is a good one, it is a giant creamy vanilla bomb... that's it, there is no sense of heat from the high mentioned abv at all.

Taste is once again vanilla dominant. It's everywhere, it's creamy as all get out. However it masks much of the flavor profiles of chocolate, coffee, that one would expect. I also strangely got a sensation of orange fruit on this a bit which was interesting. The beer is so big as well on its feel, but there is not even a hint of boozy alcohol what so ever, it's like a giant chocolate milk shake.

Overall stupidly addictive, but not my favorite I think. Still quite an exceptional product I must say. I wish the nose was more varied.

Photo of Adrianized
4.27/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick pitch black with a one finger mocha head which settles to a ring.

On the nose I get roasted malt, roasted espresso, chocolate, molasses, prunes, fried plantains, and caramel... All very well balanced with bourbon and oak.  Smells amazing.

I predominately taste bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, and a shot of strong Italian espresso.  There's a deep complexity in the spices that I'm having trouble placing... cinnamon, cayenne pepper?  Hints of bourbon at the end, just enough to let you know it's there. EDIT: As it warms up, it's actually not teribbly complex at all. I'm mostly just getting bitter dark chocolate overload...

Mouthfeel is nothing like I've ever experienced before in a stout.  When it first hits your tongue, it tingles a bit... I can't tell if that's fine carbonation, spices, or alcohol burn.  Either way, I welcome it.  Otherwise, it's full-bodied and coats the palate with bourbon and bitterness.

Overall, I'd say this beer lives up to the hype.  It's probably the most complex stout I've had, the only thing it lacks is superior smoothness and drinkability... Something a little age will surely cure.

Photo of birchstick
4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Series 002

A - pours a black color with a nice 1/2 finger mocha colored head off of an aggressive pour

S - caramel and molasses from the bourbon stick out the most with a bit of cola and chocolate malt hidden beneath; subtle hints of charred oak are in the mix as well. Nice blend of aromas with nothing too overpowering.

T - vanilla and milk chocolates jump out immediately and provide a welcoming introduction. This then segues into LOTS of spicy bourbon on the back end that is slowly overtaken by a a very rich, dry, dark chocolate flavor with subtle hints of caramel that lingers after the exhale. Definitely let this guy warm up a bit as the bourbon hides itself better in the flavor profile the closer it got toward room temperature.

M - nice and full as it goes down; the body complements the rest of the beer nicely. Has a very dry finish and leaves you wanting another drink.

D - really solid BA RIS. I feel like the heat was a little overpowering at first but as this warmed up it turned into a really nice beer. I feel like a year or two would do wonders with this beer. Luckily I have a couple of bottles to lay down and anxiously await to crack in the future.

Photo of surlytheduff
4.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, so about a year old at time of drinking. Gave a rough pour into a snifter which yielded about a half inch of cola-colored head which quickly receded to a thin ring of bubbles with very little lacing along side the glass. The liquid itself? Black. How much more black could this be? The answer is none - none more black.

The smell was pretty rich. Roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, a little bit of booze. The taste was a lot more bourboney, in a delicious sort of way. There was a really pleasant, not-too-cloying sweetness to it. As it warmed up the vanilla and chocolate really came to the forefront. The toasty oak flavors have been incorporated extremely well into this beer.

The mouthfeel is creamy and thick. It is full bodied with medium carbonation. Overall it was a fantastic stout which I'm glad I finally got around to cracking.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.73/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Popped off a bottle of 001 for a cousin's wedding reception Sunday night. Thick, viscous black and a mild cherry cola head to it. Less than forceful aroma of chocolate, oak, mild boozy bourbon, vanilla and cherry.

Wow, what a treat, a sipper, yet hid the alcohol so well. Nothing was dominant, equal parts of play between the chocolate, bourbon. Others got more coffee roast than I did, but I really appreciated the smooth cherry and vanilla aspect of this. Didn't even have that warming presence it hid the alcohol so well. Chewy. Would think there was oatmeal in here it was so chewy and smooth.

Sets itself apart from the wanna be barrel agers. This one actually tasted nice, not harsh. Going 'big' on the bourbon is often a mistake. Found it ironic that this is a part of the Anniversary blend, yet this had been blended so well itself, to not yield the alcohol heat, and allow every little nuance of the barrels and base beer itself to be noticed (and this was after a day of drinking, albeit a blood orange hefe sixtel).

I've bought 7 bottles of this both years. I think its the right number to keep doing every year. Not too many beers in that elite company (PTE, Bigfoot, Parabola, Celebration, Eclipse)

Photo of Chaney
3.61/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split this 2011 bomber tonight with my wife.

A: Viscious, extremely black, and with a head only a shade or two lighter than the brew itself.

S: Subdued bourbon, dark fruit, and a bit of dark chocolate to balance that out. Potent, but not too.

T: Fairly hot, chocolatey, and extremely viscious in general. This totally wasn't what I was expecting. I got a generous amount of heat on the aftertaste, but tons of chalk also.

M: Thick, but not as thick and creamy as I was hoping. Still, this was lightly carbonated and very cloying.

O: Disappointing. I'd heard lots of amazing things about this one and it kinda let me down. That's a shame, because I totally dig Firestone Walker overall.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.35/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 model

Stouty looking stout

Smells of roast, wood, vanilla, and bourbon: rather inviting.

Bourbon has mellowed in the year since I last had this, but plays wonderfully over the base stout. Barrel imparts smoke, rich vanilla, light woodiness, and milk chocolate covered cherry.

Mouthfeel is medium thick and lowly carbonated, making this is nice, enjoyable, should be sipper, that I chose rather to injest in swatchbuckling sized gulps.

Time has been kind to ye old Parabola. 13% my foot!

Photo of ottovon
4.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a dark brown almost black with a brown head.

S: i get a lot of chocolate and bourbon. there is vanilla and some oak. caramel, roast malt, and hints of coffee and toffee.

T: i get bitter dark chocolate, bourbon, oak. i get some burnt malt and toffee, with hints of coffee. there is dark fruit and molasses. there is a touch of sweetness and brown sugar.

M: it has a thick body with medium-low carb.

O: a great beer. I would never pass this beer up.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.92/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Motor oil black with a tan head forming only at the edges.

S - Booze, oak, chocolate, and coffee.

T - The flavors roll onto the tongue in the same order, and are very pronounced. Booze, oak, chocolate, coffee.

D - A slightly bitter finish, but I was surprised by how balanced the mouthfeel was.

O - A complex RIS, very nice and warming.

Photo of arizcards
4.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up 2 bombers in mid-June 2010 from BevMo for $15.99 each. I know the adage of trying one fresh and aging one but i sat both of them in my wine cooler given my experience with Goose Island Bourbon Stout (too hot).

Beer poured black as night with a brown head that dissapated quickly.

Nose is chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and charred oak. It does not get any better than that.

Taste is big on dark chocolate, bourbon is definitely treading lightly in the background. Notes of vanilla and hops balance the sweetness quite well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth.

Overall drinkability is very good. This is definitely a world class brew. Viscosity is not quite what i had hoped but very good nonetheless. Definitely one to pursue for impy stout lovers!

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 5,489 ratings.