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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,967 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,967
Reviews: 1,006
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 2,337
Gots: 2,694 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,967 | Reviews: 1,006 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BColton1
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Zekenyce
4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.58/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle cellared. I have a couple more bottles thought I'd review one from last year:

A: fairly vicious machine pild black. Nice carbonation for a ba stout. Solid tracing.

S: admittedly a little offputting but I've noticed this during the aging process in the past. Somewhat muted bitterness from dark chocolate and coffee notes. Subtle esters. Deep fruit but not prominent. Fresh smells a lot better although some might say a bit harsher.

T: more balanced albeit the coffee is toned down and rather muted. It lingers on the finish very nice. Good bourbon character and sweetness from the hh barrels. Currants come through with some vanilla. No ester presence. Some mild prune, deep fruits, but mostly luxurious coffee. Not perfect but close.

M: solid with no alcohol burn. The finish is very clean. Coats the mouth well. Would love a thicker mouthfeel but this is nice. More subtle with age.

Overall: a hyped up barrel aged stout that deserves the hype. Its balanced and still hasn't complete lost the coffee and it hasn't distorted the beer either. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2014 fresh. The flavors come out real well. Firestone makes ba beers that drink really well fresh which I appreciate although this is more balanced with zero alcohol presence. Fresh smells a lot better too. Overall a difficult beer to review because time changes this a lot for the better.

Photo of CAcker
5/5  rDev +8.5%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brief re-re-review of the 2014 vintage. Now, I can safely say, Parabola finally lives up to the hype. All the best qualities of the '13 vintage (the depth, the richness, the bourbon character) was here in full force, but - despite being 14% - it wasn't that harsh. The oak was prevalent, but the fusel-y abrasiveness of the '13 was almost perfectly muted this time around. I was really shocked how well balanced this was (especially taking the last 2 vintages into account). Only thing I can really nitpick now is that it was rather sweet - hell, so is BCBS, and look at the score I still gave it! This is everything I hoped Parabola would be ever since I moronically spent $40 for a bottle at a DC bar 2 years ago.

2014: (3.5/4.25/4.5/4.5/4.25)
2013: (3.5/4/4/4/4)
2012: (2.5/3/4.5/3.5/3.5)

Re-review of the 2013 vintage. 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown color; it isn't quite as pitch black as the 2012 version. There's more head than the previous vintage, though - a one finger khaki shade. It doesn't last a very long time, however a thin collar of lacing is left on the side of the glass.

S: There's a lot of dark chocolate at first, subtly augmented with a good bourbon character. Concentration will yield additional notes of brown sugar, hazelnut, currants, plums, vanilla, and coconut. I wish the aroma was more 'in-your-face', but I can't at all complain about the decent complexity and relative lack of harsh alcohol.

T: Pleasant dark chocolate and vanilla opens the palate, before it develops a currant-heavy midtaste. The back end is very heavy in charred oak, with some additional roasted malts (a welcome addition compared to last year), and piny hops. The big problem here is how obnoxiously boozy the finish is - especially taking its lack of notable alcohol aroma into consideration. However, much like Sucaba, the harshness seems to decrease the more this is imbibed. Even better, it shows good depth of flavor. At the end of the day, I enjoy it's decent bitterness and bourbon character too much to nitpick its flaws.

M: This seems to be a bit drier on the back of the palate compared to last year. It's just as sticky and viscous, though. The body itself is wonderfully creamy, with a medium texture befitting a barrel-aged RIS. Carbonation isn't terribly strong, and alcohol presence is assertive.

O: Let me start out by saying I'd be lying through my teeth if I said this wasn't a great BA RIS. It presents an excellent bourbon character and a depth others in the style lack. However, it's just too harsh to be world-class in my mind. Still, I'm really intrigued over aging my other bottle for a year to see how it develops.

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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3/5  rDev -34.9%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +3%

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4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

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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%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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5/5  rDev +8.5%

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4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 4,967 ratings.