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Parabola - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

ParabolaParabola

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,695 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3695
Reviews: 922
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 8.26%


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.

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]

(Beer added by: largadeer on 03-26-2008)
View: Beers (64) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 3,695 | Reviews: 922 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jbone78
jbone78

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first poured this beer, I thought it was flat. No real head and black. I tell my drinking buddy, " I hope this was worth the money"? First smell is coffee, a lot of coffee. Tastes of vanilla, bourbon and chocolate. The flavors blend to perfection. Not a question in my mind that this beer is worth the money. If anyone wants to do a trade, I am in...Because I will never see this beer in Florida.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 12:59:55 | More by jbone78
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok, so I drank half a Parabola the other night and I have to say that the alcohol was well hidden for 13% abv. It was a little chalky but it was also quite well done. I will say that I think this beer does work better as a blend for their anniversary beers but it was still cool. The barrel is not as easy to notice as in the anniversary beers.

update 11/24/10

This was a little better this time, very rich and had a strong barrel/spirit flavor going on. Nice. Its probably way to much to drink a whole bomber by yourself.

update 09/07/11

2011 vintage. Fantastic smell like coconut and cake, wonderful overall. Need more.

update 09/22/12

2012 vintage. This might be the best RIS I have tasted, coconut, chocolate, rich, spirits. It's almost like a boozy German chocolate cake, wow.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 06:27:11 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Krevee
Krevee

California

4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank: 24 June, 2010 @ My Home
Serving Type / Glass: 22oz bottle / Bruery tulip
Vintage: N/A
Price: $ 15
From Notes: Y

A -Small brown head with light beautiful lacing. Super dark brown almost black in color. Also has a moderate amount of lacing.

S - Roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and bourbon make up the aroma of this beer. Very complex even in smell. The smell is not strong but not light either.

T - Similar to smell. Has a bit of bitterness in the middle and smooths out in the end. Very complex flavor and all the flavors mentioned in the smell are present and blend together very nicely with none of flavors overpowering another.

M - Light carbonation. Super silky and smooth in the mouth and is full-bodied but not over bearing.

D - This is a big beer but it really isn't very hot for the ABV. And is quite easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 23:49:15 | More by Krevee
Photo of xpimptastikx
xpimptastikx

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in the WW3 BIF.

A - Inky black with minimal mocha head after vigorous pour.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malts, and molasses. Everything you want from a BA RIS.

T - Roasted malts, vanilla, oak, and little booze, and a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

M/D - Low carbonation and viscous means it's oily and coats your mouth. I think it works great for the beer and keeps me sipping it as it warms. I made sure to split the bottle into 3 separate servings so I could enjoy it longer.

Move over Abyss, I have a new favorite BA RIS.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 00:37:14 | More by xpimptastikx
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
DwnTwnBwn

California

4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying a bottle with the little lady (side note; she must have and affinity for F.W. yeast because she seems to enjoy all of there beers)

A- Pours a beep black, no light passes through. Had to pour a bit more vigorous towards the end to pull out a decent head. The beer is viscous, coast teh glass after a swirl.

S - Big a sweet, touches of bourbon and dark chocolate. On deeper inhales roasted barley comes through.

T- Very good beer. Eminence flavor. Sweet roasted barley up front that moves quickly to a complex bourbon finish. Bitter dark chocolate notes as well as plenty of vanilla notes round out the flavor profile.

M - A touch flat for an RIS in my opinion, the feel is silky smooth, pleasant taste on the tongue after each sip.

O- Love this beer, its a big sweet RIS with no major drawbacks and all the right flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 05:04:03 | More by DwnTwnBwn
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Lukafer's going away tasting. Forgot who brought this amazing bottle. Review from phone notes...

A- Pour a deep dark black color. One and a half finger tan head that has really good retention for the ABV. Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass but nothing much other than that.

S- Roasted malts in the front of this give way to a vanilla aroma. Bourbon-y flavors with light oak in the middle. Some alcohol hotness which tingles the nose. Brown sugar and light bitter chocolate.

T- Big roasted malts in the front end of this. Some chocolate malt undertones which also shows a good vanilla backing. Oaky notes soaked in a bourbon like alcohol take over everything for a short while before coming back with a coffee bite to it.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style but a little light for me personally. Roasted malts with vanilla backing left on the palate with a coffee bourbon aftertaste. Flavors were well blended but shined individually. Very drying for me on the palate. Clean flavors overall.

D- A wonderful beer overall by Firestone Walker. This beer I can tell will only get better with age or at least a couple more years on it. I am going to be looking for a few bottles for the cellar. Well worth the praise in every way.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 04:12:18 | More by alleykatking
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep, viscous-looking, black color, two-finger cappuccino colored head, great retention and lacing, especially at this high abv

s - deep toasty malt, cherry cola and dark fruit, graham cracker, bourbon boozy note along with a considerable toasty oak note

t - very well integrated flavors with no much harshness at all, big dark chocolate, brown sugar, light caramel notes up front, midpalate has a dose of cherry and plum flavors mixed in with the toasted oak and vanilla, finish is a little hot with bourbon woven in with more vanilla and oak, pretty dry finish that just lasts forever, incredibly complex overall

m - very full-bodied but not as viscous as some Imperial Stouts such as Dark Lord, moderate carbonation, very nice alcohol warming on the palate and in the throat, really coats the palate nicely and lingers

d - definitely not something you're going to take down huge quantities of, but I'm having no problem putting away the bomber currently, and no issues have a few nice sized pours when I had it on tap at the Rose & Crown a month ago, the complexity just begs you to keep on drinking to figure out all the flavors, the alcohol is certainly noticeable, but not overwhelming on the palate, even at 13%, overall, above average in this category for the style

I really liked this on-tap a month ago, and I absolutely love this stuff now out of the bottle. To my palate, I think this may eclipse the bottles of FW 12 and 13 I've had recently. Between this, Abacus and the anniversary series, FW has shown they are masters of big -bal aged beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 23:53:44 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of andyfrancis
andyfrancis

California

4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a thin brown head that fizzled out immediately. hits of red on the edges when held to light.Looks nice in a snifter.

Getting some vanilla, dark chocolate, and booze on the nose.

First taste on my tongue is the wood. Booze is pretty well hidden, though there is a little ting on the tongue.

Slightly chewy, yet clean finishing.

There was a lot of hype around the bottling of this beer, and I'd say it just lives up to it. Not over, not under, but right there. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 09:25:49 | More by andyfrancis
Photo of GarrettMD
GarrettMD

New York

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Jet black with a half finger dark tan head that dissipates very quickly. Good lacing.

S - Malty chocolate scent. Noticeable alcohol aroma in the background. Not as strong as an aroma as I expected for this beer.

T - Very good chocolate/coffee taste working together nicely, hints of oak and vanilla. Some caramel undertones as well.

M - Very smooth rich beer. Not at all thick for an imperial stout either. Faint alcohol burn on the finish.

D - Extremely drinkable. With the chocolate/coffee dominance overpowering the alcohol burn, coupled with its fairly light body, this is an easily drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 21:05:01 | More by GarrettMD
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the chance to try this! From notes, split the bottle on 6.18.

Pours black with a small dark brown head into a wine glass. Small dark brown head, fades to ring with some dotted lace, but not much.

Wow, initially I was surprised by how vinous this was. Big fruity cherry/berry notes combining with charred woodsiness. But after the first few sips and as the glass warmed, these flavors were better integrated. Lots of rich malts, great complexity. Good amount of booze, a definite sipper, but this is just massive with great charred wood flavor and chocolate. A bit oily, but great mouthfeel as well. Sipped on my share of the bottle for almost an hour, it is rich and the 13% is warming. Another masterful beer from the FW guys, chooo choooo.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 22:14:31 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mrbubbler & my #1 West Coast dealer, cloudskipper, for two bottles of this much-anticipated brew. Firestone is one of two breweries (Founders being the other) that have magic in their barrels.

Pours lightless into a pair of stylin' Selin's Grove goblets; quick, still, & beautiful, as long as it's not spilled in the Gulf. The smell is what the urine of Hades might smell like: divine. Sweet, barrelly, insanely deep malts, coupling with some pretty chocolates.

The taste...Parabola doesn't disappoint. Hype? Screw hype, this is a great beer. Slap a BMC label on it & I'd buy it by the case. Honestly, I don't even know where to start describing the tastiness of this fire-breather. 93 varieties of malts, all complementing one another like a consultant at a convention? Check. Subtle, quiet, but powerful beads of bourbon coating my mouth like WD-40? Check. Blended chocolate, dry oakiness, vanilla, check. But the English language doesn't do it justice, nor would Spanish, or French. As with any superior beer, or puzzle, or good relationship, it's the way the pieces fit together that really matters. And this is a masterpiece.

And also the rare barrel-aged beer where my first, questing sip turned into a long swallow, & I consciously had to remove my lips from glass. A serious beer, but not heavy or cloying, & the barrel aging sets up & plays off everything else.

Masterpiece. So glad I have one more bottle, & I might need another to age down the road. Though I might need to bury this one to keep from having the other bottle tomorrow night.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 02:35:11 | More by maximum12
Photo of squaremile
squaremile

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful packaging for this thing with the box and nice old school label. Pours a true black with a one finger head at first that lowers to bubbles around the edge of the glass. Smell is disappointing with dark fruits and alcohol up front, and vanilla and burn taking a backseat. Flavor is goood. Great synthesis of chocolate, espresso, dark fruits, vanilla, and a tiny alcohol bite that is lower than would be expected after the nose. Pretty dry finish considering the body is medium thick. Mouthfeel is world class. EXCEPTIONALLY SMOOTH. Overall for this being young it is very good. In two years this might be a legend.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 19:52:47 | More by squaremile
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

From notes; 6/9/10.

Pours a rich dark brown into my trusty snifter.

Med full body with a creamy mouth-feel, with mild carbonation.

Solid chocolate notes up front with a rich malt presence and slight alcohol bite.

Strong notes of oak, coffee bitterness, milky chocolate, with undertones of licorice.

Finishes with a velvet like mouth-feel, milk chocolate and a tingly alcoholic bite.

Overall amazing balance, great mouth-feel, and well blended notes of wood and chocolate.

Not as impressive as the Oak Aged Espresso Yeti I had the night before, but a great Impy stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 22:04:11 | More by pixieskid
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to Abecall98 for sending me this bottle of Parabola. Abel is a great guy and BA... Trade with him if you have the chance.

Sorry, I love the bottle. Classy, just love it.

Pours with a tan head that stays just for a short visit then vanishes.
Deep dark brown, but not black. Slight light in at the edges. Not much in the lacing department.

Aroma is really nice and thick in your nostrils. Dark chocolate, like brownies... (we'll come back to that), vanilla a bit of alcohol and vanilla. Great aroma.

In the end, here's how I describe the flavor. Rich caramel sauce drizzled over a warm undercooked brownie with a touch of vanilla ice cream. I know that's weird, but those are the flavors I get in the end. Deep rich chocolate, thick caramel and then some vanilla. In fact, some vanilla extract. Only after reading the box do I think I can detect what they mean by cherry, but I would have never picked that up. Very deep and inviting...

My God, this is a thick, full bodied beer. Lays thick on your tongue, slightly oily and with little carbonation. Wonderful and rich.

I loved this. I had a feeling I would and I did. This is the base for the Firestone Anniversary beers and those are among my favorite ever. Now I see why... Just awesome.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 04:29:30 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mcallister (a continuing theme in my reviews) for sharing more beer than Obama shares other people's money.
Pours a nice black with just a hint of off white head. No apparent carbonation.
Smells of mild coffee with a hint of vanilla and chocolate mixed in. Nicely sweet with wisps of dark fruit.
Taste is a mild mix of chocolate and coffee, both fighting for dominance. Not at all overpowering or viscous. The sweetness mixes well with the dark notes in the brew and the dark fruit in the nose really doesn't come through that much.
Rich mouthfeel but not at all dense or cloying. Very nice sipper and this is its best point. Its lack of anything overpowering makes it an excellent sipping beer for those occasions when you don't want to be slammed by a great tasting beer. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 00:50:04 | More by kirok1999
Photo of malatinodesign
malatinodesign

California

4.88/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a wine glass. Its the only glass I have that allows for enough room to breathe properly. Dark like motor oil as a caramel colored head arose. It came on slowly similar to most barrel aged beers but lingered just long enough to form that perfectly colored head that can only come from an imperial stout. Salivating already. This Monday is looking up already.

S: So many things going on here at once. Soft hints of chocolate and toffee. Soft woodsy smell. Every sniff brings out a different memory. Amazing. Should have lingered more at this stage but the dark liquid awaits.

T: Right away a subtle complexity destroying all other beers I have tasted in my recent memory. Coco -nibs, molasses, but not with that cloying sweetness that can overwhelm some beers of this type. I have been drinking a lot of Imperial stouts lately and this taste will linger in my palate for a long time. In the middle of the taste I get some whiskey and maybe even red wine flavors going on but they just blend in perfectly to the complete flavor of the entire beer. This beer tastes slightly differently with each sip as it slowly warms and you notice different elements. Vanilla, dates, on and on...This was a highly hyped bottle but one that I can not say enough about. Balance is a tough thing to do perfectly but this beer does it all. Infinite complexity and drinkability.

M: About three-quarters of the way through I remember, oh yeah 13%. Not a hint. I could have downed two of these. So smooth and full on the palate. Thick and juicy without being overwhelming. Carbonation present adds to the presence in the mouth but prefect level for the style. Soft and almost feels as if I am chewing through some amazing flavors in my mouth. Velvety smoothness and lip smacking perfection.

D: Humm, what do you think? If I was made of money I would be quaffing these on a daily basis and always sad when another beer was offered. Each sip was swallowed with a small tinge of sadness as one of the best beers to ever cross my lips slowly and smoothly slipped down my throat. I was not sure what to expect with all of the hype but was unexpectedly blown away and came away impressed. Sometimes hype is well earned and if you are as much a fan of the infinite complexity of the imperial stout as I am this may well be your favorite beer. May my dreams tonight be filled with fresh bottles of Parabola and I may sleep the slumber of angels.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 05:44:30 | More by malatinodesign
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass at approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: Just like any good imperial stout, Parabola poured black and viscous into my glassware. Was soon followed was a dark mocha head that dissipated into thin foam layer, even after a few vigorous swirls. The lacing was on the thinker side, but did leave a trail of brown stickiness along the sides of the tulip glass.

S: Woody and subtle dark fig aromas at the front end that eventually conceded to the robust amounts of chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses. The cocoa quality really jumped in after the few seconds and was really the showcase of the overall smell.

T: The initial flavor is mild molasses with a coffee bitterness character that was once again, backed up by huge amounts of chocolate flavor. The wood flavor crept up towards middle palate and lasted throughout the finish, which helped add some complexity to the bold cocoa flavor. The fruit flavor never seemed the surface, but there was other minute aspects to Parabola that wasn't able to determine.

M: For an imperial stout, the carbonation was on high side which may have added to a slightly dryer finish than I expected.

D: Simply wonderful! One of the best beers I've had the pleasure of trying. Really wish I was able to acquire some bottles for myself...cause honestly, I could of polished this bomber off in 20 minutes. It's that good!

Overall: Easy to see why this is one of the most sought after beers around. A must try! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 21:56:54 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black body with a large brown-khaki head. Good retention before the head eventually crashed to a nice skim and a bubbly loose ring. Spotty lacing left here and there on the glass.

S: First impression is tons of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. As the beer warms more dark fruits and roasted malts begin come out.

T: Bourbon blast with oak and vanilla. Nicely roasted malts. Bitter chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a red wine like character. Some charred wood and earthy bitterness. Pretty damn complex.

M: Medium-full bodied. Good, assertive carbonation. Lingering earthy bitterness. Moderate heat, but no burn.

D: I don't know... something was a little off, and I can't put my finger on it. Despite tasting quite deliciously, I struggled to finish the bomber.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 03:15:02 | More by callmemickey
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
OBeerMeGreatOne

California

4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black into a small snifter, no head, very slight brown tint near the very edges.
Too many smells hit the nose at first; vanilla, burnt malts, bourbon, and maybe a bit of wine(?). A nice woody scent makes up the background.
Taste follows the smell with some earthy qualities (minus any wine notes I may have smelled.) The alcohol taste is there, but at 13%, they have hidden it pretty well. The mouth is hot, lightly bubbly and very smooth.
I have procured a few more of these for aging and very much look forward to enjoying them later.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 22:20:29 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, No1 so 2010, with black wrap that has a tag to pull on...cool idea and it works nicely. I also like the amount of info on the label re the beer.

A light hiss when I popped the cap, this straight from the fridge bottle and a slow pour still brought a good inch of tan foam. The lacing department worked overtime as there's ton of it.

Still being cold, the smell is somewhat subdued. I'll come back to it later.

The taste will, no doubt, also improve during warm up but...man...there's a ton of flavour here already. It's roasty, has some coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, a hint or 2 of a fruity sweetness, vanilla kicking in now, and a very tasty bourbon/barrel influence that kicks some major arse.

I'd say, for the abv, uncle Al it isn't too noticeable tastewise other than the obvious flavour you get from a barrel aged brew but after the swallow, it gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling. I think I like this stuff. ;^)

The mouthfeel is close to full with a perfect(lightish) amount of carbonation.

Drinkability? No back to backs for me ever with a brew in this abv range but the bottle in front of me is killer for one session. Marvelous.

Back to the smell, it *has* warmed up some and I do get notes of chocolate and vanilla and what barrel aging brings to the table but no way does the smell, imho, do the taste justice. This is one of the best barrel aged Stouts I have tried. Full marks to Firestone!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 22:15:04 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle into a tulip. Parabola is an opaque obsidian color, viscous but well carbonated, topped by an inch of head that slowly recedes to a crown.

The aroma is wonderfully nuanced, roasted malt at balance with notes of dark bittersweet chocolate, spicy black licorice, mellow spirits and fruity red wine. Alcohol is noticeable, but just barely.

Bold flavors of dark chocolate, rich molasses, sweet whiskey and black licorice hit the taste buds first. There's a slight fruity, vinous quality to it as well, enhanced by a light tannic astringency. Barrel aging makes its presence known without overwhelming the complexities of the base beer, which has not always been the case in past iterations of this beer; this is clearly the most balanced batch of Parabola yet out of those I've tried. It has a hefty, chewy texture with a firm lingering roasted bitterness that clings to the tongue after a few sips and doesn't let go. Sweetness is reserved, at a perfect balance with the bitterness and tannins. The more I drink this, the more impressed I am. I've tried several batches of this beer over the years, some aged entirely in bourbon barrels, others in rye whiskey barrels, some a blend of different components. This one really nails it; the balance, nuance and delicacy make it my favorite batch yet. Thankfully, it's the one we finally got in bottles.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 04:40:41 | More by largadeer
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with Agent Zero...I drank this from a 750ml bottle into my Rochefort glass...The beer pours jet oil black with a light tan head. Rises about two fingers but falls pretty quickly, light lacing...The aroma is nice medium strength, dominated by lots of really nice coffee not strong just yummy roastiness with a sweet cream finish....The first sip is lots of coffee nice like the aroma. As this warms it really starts to bring out the bourbon which is sweet and warming. Light coffee on the front, sweet in the middle, light bitter coffee finish. Not 50 ibu's...The feel is nice, coats the palate nicely, very warm finsih. Pretty easy drinker.

Overall, this is ok. Drink it quickly because as you drink it, its worse. It becomes flatter, less flavor and more alcoholic.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 22:14:53 | More by jrallen34
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a nice one and a half finger fine head that dissipated nicely leavin behind a small ring. A little bit of chunk lines left behind during the consumption. Nice looking.

S - Sweet, there is some subtle coffee and wood. Sweet cocoa and creamy milk smell, some dark char and burnt malt smell.

T - This is a very complex and nice tasting brew. Finishes with a nice and quit bitter roasty taste. Some subtle coffee. The bourbon comes out more as the beer warms up. This beer has a very creamy, milky chocolate taste which is quite nice. Becomes much less bitter and more sweet as it warms up.

M - Full bodied, very creamy, mild carbonation. All works well.

D - Super drinkable for a 13%, was shocked to see that it was that much.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 22:04:47 | More by AgentZero
Photo of kk73
kk73

Hawaii

4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle that my brother in law picked up in Washington.

A - Parabola pours black as night and thick, with little carbonation. Just how I like my stouts. Very little mocha colored head that disappeared quickly with some lacing. I cant wait to try this one.

S - The first thing I smell is the bourbon, a little reminiscent of KBS, imo. But I have not had many bourbon barrel stouts. Getting some tobacco, oak, vanilla ice cream, and some dark fruits. This beer smells damn good and very complex with many subtle aromas.

T - I get chocolate and coffe upfront as I move it around a bit I get the vanilla and bourbon finished with some fruity sweetness in the finish.

M - Velvety, creamy, milky smooth. The mouthfeel is thick and voluptuous somewhat chewy. Everything a RIS should, not overly carbonated, but full bodied.

D - The drinkability on this is very high for a 13% beer. Interested in what a year would do for this beer, thankfully I got more than one. Excellent sipper to be had over a longer period of time.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 08:08:46 | More by kk73
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alcstradamus

Washington

4.15/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a finger of head and no lacing.

Aroma is marshmallow and oak up front, with plenty of toasted malts and dark fruits adding complexity. A bit of bourbon heat, but not too much. Notes of tropical and piney hops. Pretty damn nice overall.

The flavor isn't quite as good as the nose, but it is still very very solid. Toasted malts and oak dominate. The oak is particular really puts its stamp on the flavor profile. A bit of bourbon heat in the finish. Raisins and grapes peek their head out every once in a while.

The body is on the low side of full and somewhat creamy. Pretty nice but not thick enough for a 5.

Overall this a is very nice imperial stout, and at 13% is is highly drinkable. A good desert beer for sure. If the oak mellows a bit I think it could improve even more.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 04:40:40 | More by alcstradamus
Parabola from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,695 ratings.